Four rituals in Sa-hae

I.            Wake to a familiar scent

Grandmother’s tteokguk,
a recipe, impossible
to follow

Let your tongue caress
the rice cake, every
pinch of salt and pepper,
carrying the whittled droplets
of sweat

Wishing, the aroma
would remain,
like sacramental bread received
from blind apparitions

II.            Change into the hanbok

Let your eyes adjust
to the bell-shaped

The satiny texture,
a familiar warmth found
on grandmother’s bed

Hues of purple
and pink, distract
the coagulation of
sweat beneath

III.            Perform a Jul


a. Face an elder, placing
both hands on your

b. Begin to descend, kneeling
until your head touches
the ground

c. Wait patiently to receive
a green bill

d. You may wish it was
yellow, but remember to
bow and say thank you.

IV.            Add a number

The candles on the cake, lightened,
begin to thaw, drip against
whipped cream, the scent
of incense, hinting
the end of the year

Jaewon Chang is a high school junior living in the Philippines. His works have been recognized in the Scholastic Art & Writing awards and literary magazines like the Blue Marble Review. He enjoys solving math problems and meeting new people.

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.