Chong Hui Song

WASHING A SHOVEL IN A DARK RIVER
(저문 강에 삽을 씻고)

What flows is not just a river, is it?
We are the same;
we go out to a riverside, wash a shovel,
and throw away the sorrow we dig up.
Watching the river deepen itself naturally,
I squat down, smoke cigarettes,
and go back; that's all.
One life entrusted to a shovel shaft
gets dark and dark like this;
the moon rises above the water
rotten at the bottom of a tributary river.
We are the same;
washing a shovel in the flowing water
as it gets dark, we have to go back
to a village of hungry people.