Poetry

Yodok 15

Men and women in the snowy fields
picking cabbage with your naked hands,
faces stricken riding your colourless uniforms
your naked souls gone a long time ago
nothing to eat today or tomorrow –
who are you then?
You know the warm-coated guards
shoot prisoners with their rifles
in the absolute controlled area
surrounded by electrified wire
minefields snare pits inside:

1. factionalist elements

2. reactionaries

3. anti-revolutionaries

4. capitalists

5. landowners

6. pro-Japanese

7. pro-American

8. pro-Chinese

9. religionists

10. traitors to the nation –

they will never leave once
they have set foot inside
the walls of Yodok 15
or Onsong 13
or Hoeyong-ri 22

and the world does nothing.

 

Yodok 15, Onsong 13 and Hoeyong-ri 22 are names of concentration camps in North Korea.

 


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