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Cruelty of The River Han

Story ID:6947
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA. USA
Person:sickened Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Cruelty of The River Han

Cruelty of the Han
(River in Korea)

The people build their huts
Close to the River Han
To do their laundry
And water for their cooking pan

The huts are moved nearer to the water
In the summer as the Han begins to dry
For laundry and bathroom use
And to maintain their supply.

I remember one month in 1946
When it began to rain
It rained for days and days
The Han flooded the plain

Bridges and roads were washed out
They used an Army “duck”
To deliver our mail and goods
Crossing water and muck.

The railroad line to Seoul
Ended up like a pretzel
Still fastened to its ties
Washed away was the trestle

That let us drive to Inchon
Down to the harbor there
For medical supplies
When certain supply cabinets were bare.

But my saddest reflection
About the river Han
Was to see the huts and human bodies
Floating down toward Inchon

Atop the swift water Han
Then to the open sea
These bodies seemed not to matter
Just like so much debris

We treated our dead animals
With more care
Out on the farm
Than the numerous human bodies floating there

On the flooded River Han
Take me back to the USA
More humanity there
That’s where I wish to stay.

Monte L. Manka 03-09-11