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Waiting in Dokdo -- poetry by Haewon Yun

Navy sailors in black uniforms,

heavy rifle slung against their shoulders probe

the Ulleungdo Village.

Rose of sharon looms along the paths

as families walk on the sidewalks.

The peak of the Ulleung mountain blooms

through the gaps between the gawa houses.

By the sea, Haenyeos with thick bathing suits

pick up abalone and seaweed.

They sit at the shore deck and lay out the tangled nets

where few abalones dangle.

Young men a few meters behind the boats

untie the knots and pull the fish scales

while the rest of them squat down and

sort the fish in colorful containers.

Stratus clouds blur the sunlight

and the lighthouse in the middle of the seaport

starts to guide the lined ships.

Little roly polies crawl back to the small holes

in the gabbro rocks fixed in the shore.

Across the waters, a tall glass building bloats

the reflection of the lights from the lighthouse.

Children on the deck with a soccer ball

wait for their fathers to come home.


Haewon Yun is a sophomore student who goes to an international school in Manila, Philippines. She spends most of her time playing cello and golf with her family. Her publications include Stepping Stones Magazine.

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