What My Grandmother’s Eyes Have Seen
Around the time I was in seventh grade, I started performing makeshift eye surgery on my grandmother.
Drip, blink, drip, blink.
My mother only had one eyeKoreans back then didn’t have proper medical equipment—the Japanese controlled the supply. He was young and so confident, we didn’t know if he was even trained in ophthalmology. My mother didn’t even get pain medication. Just glasses, to protect her droopy eyelid. She squinted for the rest of her life.
I remember the aunties in the soju shop next door describing the cloth my mother held to her face. They said it was drenched red, she’d bled enough to fill a wash basin. She called her left eye a dog eye. I didn’t know if she meant fake (), or that they’d put in a dog’s () eyeI never knew. I couldn’t tell.
A scamWe call that a doctor
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by my inability to see all that she has seen.
I miss youI want to see you
We’re seeing each other now
Julie Moon is a writer, translator and teacher living in New York City. Her work has appeared in EssayDaily, The Rumpus, The Brooklyn Rail, and more, and she is the winner of The Missouri Review's Miller Audio Prize in Poetry. You can find her work at juliemoon.info, and follow her on Instagram @jhmoon612.
Enter your email address to receive notifications for author Julie Moon
You have been added to the notification list for author Julie Moon
More in this series
“Names bind us to people, places, and histories. As the descendant of enslaved people, my name only goes so far.”