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Sleeping Outside BY Lee Si-young

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Sleeping Outside

BY Lee Si-young TRANSLATED BY Brother Anthony of Taizé & Yoo Hui-sok


Near Dandong in China, beyond rows of barbed wire, on Hwanggeumpyeong Island in the Yalu River, what looks like a family of North Korean farmers are harvesting; I slip among them unnoticed, seize thick bunches of rice stalks and cut them with a sharp scythe until, with a “Hey, comrade Dad, let’s have a snack!” His wife, her head swathed in a towel, after frowning at him with her pretty eyes, heads for the side of the field and comes back bringing steamed sweet potatoes in a wrapping cloth. Then I must have fallen into a deep sleep, for when I awoke everything was dark, I was alone. I had been sleeping quietly on a stack of straw like a shepherd boy from a distant land.




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