Plight of the 2nd Gen

We learn dual languages: one for home and one for “out there”

and we take our strange scents to school

and they pinch their noses: What’s that?

kimchi

we like jeans, rock music, movies, and slang

and we are scolded for peculiar haircuts and behavior

and they grab us and ask: who are you?

Korean-American

 

 

 

What do we owe each other?

Reflection

 

Because your father and the Korean War

treated you mercilessly

you swallowed the hate, anger and resentment

with tiny grains of rice and near-clear broth

 

You read books and taught yourself

math – the universal language

you patched holes in your shoes and clothes

sewed extra material to your pant legs

 

With marriage and children, hunger multiplied

your craving for recognition and love

were bottomless pits of self-doubt

and utter darkness

 

You lashed out and your fears

masqueraded as control and power

launched your family away

but your heart cried

come back

 

 

Body as Water

mrjn-photography-1079575-unsplash
Mrjn

I ran across this poem and it spoke to my heart:

 

Nearly

When we slid out of the lane.

When my sleeve caught fire.

While we fought in the snow.

While the oncologist spoke.

Before the oil spilled.

Before your retina bled.

Beyond the kids at the curb.

Beyond the turn to the forest.

After the forest turned to ashes.

After you escorted my mother out.

As I led your father in.

As the dolphin swam the derelict canal.

While the cameras filmed it dying.

While the blackout continued.

When the plane dipped.

When the bank closed.

While the water.

While the water.

And we drank it.