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The River "Han"

Story ID:5930
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA USA
Year:32767
Person:Wet Chelsea Kansas Kid
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The River "Han"

The River Han

This river was peaceful
11 months of the year
But one month in the spring
The Han was something to fear

Usually the Han River
Was a few feet across
The riverbed was so flat when it flooded
Its boundary lines were lost.

30 inches of rain
In as many days
Twisted the Railroad rails and ties
And washed away the bed on which it lay.

The Rising waters spread so wide
Doncha see
Made getting to Seoul for the mail and food
Almost an impossibility.

We were isolated for a week
But with an Army Duck
Mail and food was delivered
Through the water and slimy muck.

I saw lots of hutches
Floating down the stream
Also bodies by the dozens
Made a sickly scene

The people would move close to the river
When the river Han was running low
Then build their hutch
Close to running water, doncha know.

The river was their water
To wash their clothes
Also their bathroom
This not the life they chose

When the river flooded
The ones that had moved close to the Han
Ended up drowning
Then they were gone.

Life in Korea was so cheap
In 45 and 46
Other Koreans looked at the floating bodies
Like so many sticks.

Those rails ran behind the Station
Of Shin Kon Dok
The station was not harmed by the water
The rail traffic came to a sudden stop

With the rails bent and twisted
It would be many a day
Before the track was fixed
On the South Korean Railway.

Monte L. Manka 04-14-10