In the frigid cold December whipping stiff winds,
I scan the geography in the land of my ghosts
Of diaspora longing for warmth and prayers
That I don’t know how to recite and even their names.
I called them Oma (mom) and Hulmoni (grandma)
Throughout my life and even now.
We look for a place in the south in the northern hemisphere
(We would look for a place in the north in the southern hemisphere)
For kinder latitude, but my ancestral ghosts defy
The slight numeric values to accompany me days and nights—
Cold, hot, humid, and dry.
Snow spits on the bowed branches of the dwarf weeping cherry
Illuminated by the fading solar light braces against the arctic blast
And watches the salty trails where my ghosts spread their wings
To come and wipe my windows. They branded me. I rise on their wings.
Year of the Tiger