Path Sometimes the way is clear marked by those who came before us each carrying a stone or two to lay along the path to say here I was here is the way the warmth of each hand fades but the light-touched stones still radiate
Holding Today my daughter and I walked to the edge of the retaining pond down the street the first time she has left the house since a week ago when she fevered and coughed and we stared at her sample slowly wicking up the white candle of a test strip and a single pink line came into focus still we quarantined masked and isolated but being outside we could bare our faces to each other again and she said look look and my breath caught beneath the leaf-studded iced-over surface of the pond vibrant unexpected orange at least a dozen koi alert and swimming in the dead of winter sensing our approach with a few measured flicks of their white fins the bright flames of their bodies disappeared into murky gray water and suddenly I remembered that I could breathe
Hyejung Kook’s poems have appeared in POETRY Magazine, Denver Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Pleiades, and elsewhere. Other works include an essay in The Critical Flame and a chamber opera libretto. Born in Seoul, Korea, she now lives in Kansas with her husband and their two children. You can find more of her poems on this site, and even a selection of poems she gues-edited.
This selection was selected by editors Laura Lee Washburn and Morgan O.H. McCune.