a crumpled dollar bill, a worn out
paintbrush, a pen and stethoscope.
The highlight of a doljanchi.
Adults crane their necks towards a child
engulfed by these items, a selection of careers
fanned out on a bamboo floor mat.
The child wears a hanbok,
its pastel sleeves reaching her wrists,
a blue ribbon nestled on the folds of the dress.
A hesitation stifles her fingers
until she places her thumb over a roll of thread.
The child is photographed, her crinkled skirt
faltering behind her, hand mid-way
to the spool of thread.
She will get married, where she prepares
Korean dishes with her mother and sisters.
She will set the dinner table, placing chopsticks
with engraved hanja for her in-laws.
She will bear children out of duty
and watch their doljabis, witnessing
a child’s instinct turns into a future.
She will often recall fleeting memories
in her longevity, a delicate strand of thread,
unable to grasp between a finger and thumb.
Jessica (Doeun) Kim is a 15 year old, with she/her pronouns. She was born in South Korea and currently living in the Philippines. Her works have been recognised by One Art, Cathartic Youth, and Isacoustic among others. During her free time, she enjoys doing contemporary dance. Instagram: @jessica.d.k