My Wife’s Bare Foot: Turtle Shell Letters by Song Su-kwon

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

My Wife’s Bare Foot: Turtle Shell Letters by Song Su-kwon

I once saw a turtle die on en route back to the sea
after she had dug up a hole in the hot sand with her hind legs,
laid a few eggs and covered it back up with sand.
Her body was turned over, her short front paws were folded,
she was lying with the soles of her hind legs pointing toward the sky.

The unusually long soles of her feet looked sad.

Toward the anesthesia room, where nobody knows when she will awake,
passing all the patients’ rooms whose lights are turned off,
the bed carriage rolls on.
With a white mask on, her two eyes closed,
her bare feet poking out of the sheet

My wife’s soles were broken up
like the turtle shell soles that looked like ancient letters.

아내의 맨발
–갑골문 甲骨文 /송수권

뜨거운 모래밭 구멍을 뒷발로 파며
몇 개의 알을 낳아 다시 모래로 덮은 후
바다로 내려가다 죽은 거북을 본 일이 있다
몸체는 뒤집히고 짧은 앞 발바닥은 꺾여
뒷다리의 두 발바닥이 하늘을 향해 누워있었다

유난히 긴 두 발바닥이 슬퍼 보였다

언제 깨어날지도 모르는 마취실을 향해
한밤중 병실마다 불꺼진 사막을 지나
침대차는 굴러간다
얼굴엔 하얀 마스크를 쓰고 두 눈은 감긴 채
시트 밖으로 흘러나온 맨발

아내의 발바닥에도 그때 본 갑골문자들이

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