At Hyeon Chung Won National Cemetery - hybrid by Catherine Shim
Beneath the grounds of the national shrine, the black cowhide combat shoes are now obsolete and the sharpness of its tips are worn off by the rocks of the Seorak mountain. As the marching tunes fade at the battle hills, its glimmer wilts along. The insole drenched in sweat imprinted his last steps. The worn-out tips are strangely polished by the tears of his comrade, and the clean soles show no hints of blood he stepped into. Now worms dart in and out, squirming into the parched layer that withers along the cracked earth. The underground digs into the rigid leather, slithering among the soles, followed by the rotting flesh that distorts the past humid scent of the boots- the sign of their feast underground.
Nothing above the ground knows where gunfire once echoed the plateau.
Catherine Shim is a rising high school senior currently living in the Philippines. Writing is a way for her to record the fleeting moments in time as well as exploring the connections between humanity and the environment. She loves finding good food wherever she goes and believes that socks are the essence of fashion. Her past works have been published in K'in Literary Journal and featured in the 2020 Austin International Poetry Festival Youth Anthology.