Man-Corn in the Promised Land II
Reworked from a narrative poem from a few years ago. Will be disturbing reading for many.
Christmas Day 2010
“This is a day like any other in our glorious workers’ paradise. The winter sun shines majestically for our Dear Leader. You must give thanks to him for the food you eat.”
The radio blares on, as it always must, seven days a week from waking until sleeping. Moon Ji-hun clears the table. Her friend, Park Yo-jong says, “Some would not understand why we eat this. But I think it tastes good.”
Ji-hun thanks her friend for sharing the feast. The two young women return to work. They walk slowly from the prisoners’ hovels, each step deliberately measured to conserve energy, past machine gun-brandishing guards, men trained to not treat or even think of them as human.
At the end of the workday, frozen wind screaming past her ears, Ji-hun takes her newborn’s head to a secret place ten minutes walk up into the small hills behind the latrines. There others bury their children hoping no one finds them. The frozen ground is hard to dig. Finally she breaks ground and buries it without feeling anything but satiation, her stomach still full.
A big balloon drops down from the iron sky. It dangles a package. Ji-hun looks warily around then unwraps the present. It is a book. Holy Bible the cover states in Korean. She opens it to a random page. In the twilight she squints to read a story about a starving city under siege, a woman complaining to the king that another woman promised to boil her baby if she boiled her baby first. The first woman agreed so they killed and ate her infant, but then the second woman hid her baby.
Ji-hun begins to laugh. “Thank you highest Heaven, thank you Dear Leader! Thank you China and thank you America and thank you South Korea! Thank you Russia and Japan and England! All of you clever ones who hide your babies! Thank you! I am awake now! I am awake to my insanity! I pray all people awake to my insanity and to their own insanity!”
She puts the bible down on the fresh grave, walks down the hill past the latrines, breaks out into a run straight for the guards, shouting, “Thank you!”