My palms are white, there’s a pot full of bones
Outside, a dusting of snow, these are unusual times.
The spirits lurk, adrift under the table
They rest at the base of my dangling toes
I press dumplings into rolling bubbles
Only to watch them crumble and unfurl
My mother is there, in careful grace, my brother
Clocks the hours he spends, long fingers ticking.
The smell of pine with sap under my nails
They line a bed for cake and bread
Filled with beans, honey, tree nuts combined.
Today, Chuseok, the holiday
Where empty chairs are left open, leg room included.
I have never met the family
Beyond borders I may never cross
Faces that are lost to me with names I cannot speak
But I know they are here, their thoughts permeate the air.
Surely they think of me, who I am
Where the other side has grown to be
When the day burns out, I know the sun shines where
My spirit will be, with them though
Without them, within.