orchid odes poetry prompts
– ode to kimchi
write to a national treasure.
ode to kimchi
pungent flower of earth & sea
salt petals of omma love
you tuck treasures five color directions
between your juicy folds
bluegreen cabbage general of east
ride seeds india to china to old koryo
to ancestors & their bold pickle experiment—mansei!
to bury crock promise against starvation—mansei!
to free green from fear of snow death—mansei!
white turnip general of west
two millennia ago did our dae dae many greats halmoni
salt fish or veggies first? southerners say: stick this anchovy
between your turnips. northerners nod: it’s all in the brine.
spicerack flakback: don’t forget late bloomer pepper
gift of corn people via portuguese japanese gunboats
black oyster general of north
come july you perfume seoul subway cars with garlic fields
missing omma, rok soldiers mix you with shovels spit gravel
chaebols make killing canning you for vietnam daehans
red shrimp general of south
you unwrap shy emperor’s quarters, racy, street vendor’s stall
you bubble bathtubs hawaii plantations to city of angels you
peasant squat kimchi fried rice kimchi pepperpot kimchi
pancake kimchi dumpling kimchi ramin kimchi museum
gold ginger general of center
kimchi tacotruck kimchi temper kimjang take our picture—
kimCHI! you are how spicy women make money with
sorrow seasoned hands why uri halmoni’s cracked laundress
cry-cry fingers made her cuke kimchi so teeth crunch happy
brine orchid brine