DEAR MS. PARK,

by E Yeon Chang

President Park Geun-hye of South Korea has been under investigation for corruption, which made her the first sitting president facing criminal inquiry in the 68-year history of the nation’s constitutional government. On March 10, 2017, prompted by overwhelming public outcry and peaceful protests, the Korean Supreme Court voted to impeach her.

I am so sorry to bother you at such a trying time

but I was hoping to get your advice as to

how I should care for my Hibiscus

 

I only ask because she was a gift

from a Bear to my Halmoni , passed

down to my mother and then me

 

& I hear you have great reverence

for traditions and offerings

 

For about 68 years, I’ve tended to her, with no upsets unmanageable:

 

She came to me tired but triumphant

after surviving years in a dark room

so I set her to rest by my most light prone window

watering her whenever the soil was dry to touch

 

For many years, she seemed to delight in this arrangement,

thrive, in fact, but lately she has been shying away

from the sun and refusing any water I offer her

 

I know you have dealt with more than your share

of hunger strikes so I wanted to ask whether I should

wait for her to wilt or force her to drink now

 

I have considered setting her gently in a paper boat

& easing it into the Han River

but I fear the slow sinking will only comfort her

and I shall end up drowning her as you did our country.

1

2

The Hibiscus Syriacus is the national flower of South Korea

1

[할머니], meaning Grandmother

2

E Yeon Chang is a junior at New York University from Seoul, Korea. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The James Franco Review, Hobart, LIT magazine, amongst others. A recipient of the 2016 Tory Dent Research Scholarship, E Yeon studies English Literature when she is not busy being a bear.

 

 

 

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