The last time I saw him I was defiant,
“Children always love their mothers more,”
I said to him while looking in his eyes.
The last time I visited him in Maryland
I took my 6 yr old son to meet him
for the first and maybe the last time.
He had been telling lies
Telling me to watch out
Saying that my son might
grow up to love his father
more than he loves me.
“Nonsense!”my heart screamed
You don’t know anything about truth
Your hands hit and beat and mangled
Those you were supposed to love
You try to advise me now?
With your pseudo wisdom?
Father, don’t you know how?
True respect has to be earned!
You lost my trust
Since way before I could walk
With your ladies man talk and stupid bravado
You beat and probably raped Mother!
Because she hated and refused you
She was forced to marry you
with a drunken knife at her throat
She ran away and was recaptured.
Family lineage secrets
I like to spill the beans
and shout obscene tirades
in my alter ego writer’s way
tapping out the silent truth
in letters like Morse code
long distance freedom
expose against violence
enforced religion and
hatred against the innocent.
It’s all I have left to do.
Repression and silence will kill you.
Stand on a platform and shout it all out
vent out the truth before it poisons you.
She was brilliant Athena
and he was sadistic Mars.
I saw his brutality everyday
in our concentration camp household.
Whether I say it to his face or not
he was an asshole.
It’ll take more than this lifetime
for me to resolve what happened.
He wants forgiveness, absolution
friendship, loyalty and mercy.
He even said he tried to hang himself
in the doomsday garage
and the rope or the bar broke somehow,
and another time he was accidentally
electrocuted at work but he survived.
“God wants you to stay alive.” I responded
putting my hand on his shoulder for comfort
and he macho pushed my hand away.
What a man child he is!
a Korean Peter Pan, a lost boy in Neverland.
He and I believe in different gods.
Mine lets karma do the timely work
His sells Get out of jail for free cards at
Monopoly church full of propaganda
greed and curse
evil ancient misogyny.
He’s old, gray and alone now
in a big empty nest house of regrets.
Father is the Fool of most of my stories,
poems and memories of growing up abused
in a secret suburban prison called home.
Mom’s finally escaped him.
She goes in and out of California hospitals
with my sister as the attendant nurse
while I hide away in denial and depression.
I’m not ready to lose her
not ready to let her go
not ready to see her because I’m afraid
to say what I could never explain.
I love you Mama,
don’t you know this?
So I stay away in absolute silence and guilt.
She told me through my sister to stay away
and I obey because it’s easy to pretend
Death’s not happening.
Cancer has finally freed her of him
and I always wanted her freedom
even if it would be at our expense
I prayed for her deliverance
but not in this way
55 years later in constant pain.
She moved away for treatment
abandoned him to sit with his worries
and make his own rice
because she’s no longer his servant.
I should feel sorry for him but I don’t.
I’m just fulfilling my role
in the prodigal daughter curse.
Apologies in general
are just words
good but not enough
to overwhelm deeply embedded trauma.
So he can wait and wait forever
but my trust in him is dead
left in my destructive childhood.
I will never return
even though he said
I was his favorite.
It’s not that I don’t love him
that’s past the point.
Time can’t be reversed.
After this lifetime maybe then
we can start to try to mend
the sad horror of this lifetime.