My Last Day

Coming and going.

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Last Day, September 1974

Here I am on the last day of living with my aunt and uncle and cousins in Seoul.  I had been living with them after my parents emigrated to the US and decided to send me back when they realized they couldn’t take care of me and themselves at the same time.

This was the day I was leaving my favorite cousins and a life of being connected to my Korean skin.

How many times do I have to say “goodbye?”

Skin remembers how long the years grow

when the skin is not touched, a gray tunnel

of singleness, feather lost from the tail

of a bird…

––excerpted from “Two Countries” by Naomi Shihab Nye