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무궁화 (Mugunghwa)

I meet my birthmother in August
when mugunghwa blossoms.
This is what I hope for at least.
The flower withstands rusts and smuts.
It is the end of August now
and I am waiting.
Will she want to meet me?
Is she alive?
Maybe it would be more auspicious
to meet in October, the end of the season,
two months after she had given birth.
She gave me to a taxi driver
and his family for safekeeping,
placed like a poem
looking for an audience,
a reader to say—I see you,
and I will hold you between my fingers
like a delicate, pulpwood treasure.


Bo Schwabacher's poems have appeared in CutBank, diode, Muzzle, Redivider, Red Paint Hill Poetry Journal, Rust+Moth, Vinyl, and elsewhere. Her first book of poems, A Korean Bathhouse in Dream City, is being released by YesYes Books. She teaches at Northern Arizona University.