The Belt

When I get up in the morning
And buckle up the belt
I am ready.

Though it is only a strip of leather,
It changes our lives as the Serpent
Changed Adam. He went
To look for some clothes.
He put on his belt.
It protects us from shame or cold,
and makes us honorable to the world.

It energizes me like Samson’s hair.
The necktie is attractive
But it could be dangerous
And makes me weak and timid
Like a salaried man facing the lay-off.

That hot summer in Seoul,
When meat was in high demand,
That thief butcher pounded
My dog, Baduk, for a stew.
He was wearing a collar not a belt.
The animals, including my dog,
Are dominated by humans because
They don’t know how to buckle the belt.

In the sixteenth century, my hero Admiral Yi
Fought the Japanese for seven years
And lost not a battle. How?
He invented the turtle ship, used superior strategy
And, first of all, for seven years, he never untied
His belt.

Sung Y. Yi