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  You could have a big dipper   

Over the Chosin Mountains by Eric Pak

CW: War

sullen boots press in snow and blued thumbs

light cigars. Boys in soldier costumes sag on tanks.

The fuzz on their cheeks, wispy like pulled yarn,

thin wrists, sunken bodies, eyes shining with ribbons

and medals. Prayers fold in the creases of their palms.

In the morning, they’ll march with feet plagued

by miles and the weight of frosted skin pushing

against their knees. The sun rises, the recruits will curl

in a trench with their M1. Together, they sing

“Good Bye, Maria” and drink Gunfire on the backs

of Willys, shallow breaths rattle in the wind, the flies

picking at their wounds.

This is what bravery looks like–

and a little more – mama’s boys clutching rosaries

with trembling hands.


Eric Pak is a 16-year-old Korean-American living in Thailand. He has lived in many diverse countries and aims to share his experiences through his writing. His works have previously been published in K'in Literary Journal, The Paper Crane Journal and The Cathartic Literary Magazine. In his free time, he likes running.

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