The Outskirts of Balsam Street/Above Banpo Daegyo
4 minute read
The Outskirts of Balsam Street Midnight, fireworks flare above the Fraser River as their sounds echo through Kerrisdale, and into my room. Midnight on the first day of January, starting in the late winter with branches of magnolia, I am left out by the Vancouver sky pouring foreign remnants. I misremember my 14 as too many changes piled up and on ticking sound of time passing, was going to pass. Silence is set by who I am, lost between countries confusing my homeland and the language I once spoke. My comfort places now and again: a picture of my family in colors of blue and gray hanging above my bookshelves, books whiffing dust, piles of letters from my friends; five minute walk from home the church, stained glasses, singings of hymn—in words I missed and it soothes me to empty out the airplane still floating in me and a country I never knew I’de be in. So it was midnight: magnolia tree between home and church, leaves glazing under winter blows, howling of winds, the breaths, the blooms, the beginnings, to begin. Above Banpo Daegyo Air outside the airport feels damp and heavy. Wheels of my suitcase roll out whirling around my ears and into the trunk. My mother holds my hand like she had years ago when we first arrived in the States. Four years old with hair coating my shoulder, I was scared of people speaking words I’ve never heard before. The only ones I knew, “hello,” “yes,” and “Virginia.” Now memories froth upon the word “Virginia,” water sprinkling from the hose my mother used to garden, snow layering on the window sill, and an apple tree I could see from my porch—reddening until my sister and my brother and I climbed on it to collect every one of them. I remember loving the fireflies between cranberry bushes and the closet we hid in for hours until one of us fell asleep. Some nights dusted in stars glowing so brightly, now I know it is called satellites. Ride home from the Incheon airport and I hear the winter breaths frosting away into the air. Droplets that floated in puddles of the Kenilworth Garden and joined the Pacific, are now gliding on my window as my eyes follow a swish of the Han River flowing up towards our home. The light glints on the water streams, I dream of the River on the oldest day I recall, sunlight sticking onto leaves above my head and my eyes reflecting the river curving in and out casting away.
Minha Kyun is a 10th grader from South Korea, attending Magee Secondary School in Canada. Her writings are based on the things she experienced from living in five different countries. She enjoys reading and taking short walks around her village. Her previous works have been published in Cathartic Magazine, The Borderline, and others.