The Sewol, by Joan Barasovska

The Sewol

There are 206 bones in the adult human skeleton, also in the teenage human skeleton.
Thousands of them rest thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface where chunks of a ferry float, where cranes prospect when the sea is calm.
The children’s lost bones must be buried in dry ground; their parents are frantic to bury what is already buried.
Photos in the paper of mothers and fathers, heads bent, hands covering their faces, and we hear the short cell phone calls from the children: I love you, goodbye.
In the paper, the suicide note of the principal, who survived, offering his ashes to the sea:
“Perhaps I should be a teacher for those children in the other world.”
The orders were to stay, to keep to your room, to your bed, to obey.
They obeyed.
The grownups fled in lifeboats, the children stayed and stayed.
Their ghost teacher may reach them in a year or a century.
They can only wait.

 

Copyright, Joan Barasovska, 2014.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.