picking flowers

By Rachel K. Fauth, ETA ’16-’17

what I know about the old lady is
maybe three things:
first that she is pious,
second she is harsh,
third that sometimes she wears white and
only white, matching linen shirt and pants.

that,
and she once stopped
to lift my wrist, flip it, graze
its pale, translucent underside,
cooing oh 예쁘다, beautiful!

*
in the field she picks only white ones,
while I search for
the mutations: blushing, emotive
pink blooms, some hot
red peeling from the petal’s
edge.
she says of my selection,
귀엽다,
this is very cute.

there’s my dad’s comment about
how flowers happen, and
though it be another
species altogether,
the bluest hydrangeas are
because of the acidity in the ground.

that
I can’t tell her,
joyous woman, bounty of only
the whitest wild, cut
and compliant.
we don’t share
a language or
perhaps its definitions.

*
driving back at dusk
I recognize one word on the radio.
it’s her son’s name,
the Korean word for hymnal.
the sky burns
borderless
beautifully
the same color as my fistful
of derelict buds. and I
wonder,
does this woman prefer the daytime
for its purity?

 

 


 

Rachel K. Fauth was a 2016-2017 ETA at Changpyeong High School in Damyang, Jeollanam-do. She now lives in Knoxville, Tennessee