seyoung kwon

One Friday evening, on the fourth floor of Gwang-il condominium whose glass panes blending into the watercolor saffron sky, while the wind blowing from the east seeped through the window in the room by my mother’s dressing table from, I heard, half-asleep, the faint chatter of Young-rak middle schoolers, and the rustle of ginkgo leaves from the nearby Baengnyeon mountain.

I’d awaken to the fresh piney scent of the Green Tea perfume. I’d stare at my mother sitting by the dressing table, facing the mirror – the foggy mist sprayed out of the jade glass perfume veiling her apparition, her curly light brown hair gently resting against her shoulders, orange light of the setting sun mirroring her tiara-shaped earrings, and her baby-pink lips shimmering at me.

She sprayed her perfume again on her wrists on the same side of her palms. The smell of wood transforming into that of green tea took me to the vast tea farm in Jeju Island which we visited when I was little.

That Friday evening had become a field from which my family gathered fresh green tea leaves. Their scent staining our clothes, yellow rapeseed fluttering against the sea breeze blowing from Hamdeok beach, as the four of us climbed to the top of mountain Halla to watch the sun disappear.


Seyoung Kwon loves to fly kites on windy days and in summer, she spends time eating ice cream outdoors, especially in the park while walking her Pomeranian named Hodu. She enjoys writing in her free time with her favorite Starbucks drink, and her poem was once published on the Heritage Review.