A Spring Day by Lee Si-young

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Hye Hyon

A Spring Day by Lee Si-young

It was a spring day with magnolias in full bloom. Noor Fuad, 30 years old,
an illegal immigrant laborer from Indonesia, was spending rare
leisure time with his wife Leena on the third floor of the dormitory
of a factory in Incheon. It was a morning when the magnolias were in full bloom.
With loud stomping, immigration officers suddenly rushed
into the building and, without any words, started to handcuff
their wrists. He pleaded to be unshackled for a minute in order to change his clothes. And in that brief moment, Fuad jumped through a window to the rooftop of an adjacent building,
but he lost his footing and fell to the ground. It was a bright spring morning
when the magnolias were in full bloom.

봄날/ 이시영

목련이 활짝 핀 봄날이었다. 인도네시아 출신의 불법체류
노동자 누르 푸아드(30세)는 인천의 한 업체 기숙사 3층에서
모처럼 아내 리나와 함께 단란한 시간을 보내고 있었다. 목련이
활짝 핀 아침이었다. 우당탕거리는 구둣발 소리와 함께 갑자기
들이닥친 출입국관리사무소 직원들이 다짜고짜 그와 아내의 손목에
수갑을 채우기 시작했다. 겉옷을 갈아입겠다며 잠시 수갑을
풀어달라고 했다. 그리고 그 짧은 순간 푸아드는 창문을 통해
옆건물 옥상으로 뛰어내리다 그만 발을 헛디뎌 바닥으로 떨어져
숨지고 말았다. 목련이 활짝 핀 눈부신 봄날 아침이었다.

Lee Si-young (1949- ) was born in Gurye, Jeollanamdo. He studied creative writing at Seorabeol College of Arts. Since his literary debut in 1969, he has published poetry collections such as The Full Moon (1976), Into the Wind (1986), Friend, the Road Is Far (1988), The Song Dangling with Dew (1991), The Pattern (1994), The Gap (1996), The Quiet Blue Sky (1997), The Silver Whistle (2003), The Sea Lake (2004), The Aroma of Cow Dung(2005), and For Our Dead (2007). He has received many prestigious literary awards, including The Jung Ji-yong Literary Award (1996), The Dongseo Literary Award (1998), Modern Buddhist Literary Award (2004), The Jihoon Award (2004) and The Baeksok Literary Award (2004). For the last forty years, he has strived to write “poetry, resisting the reality and contradictions of the day.” He currently teaches creative writing at Dankuk University in Seoul.

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