Poem: Poem for my Mom


A powerful and worthwhile poem by a talented writer.

Seoul Sister

Drawing of a Korean fan dancer before I painted it, Judy Eun Kyung Kim c2018

Times that I knew

my conservative mom was cool

was when she related

to me like a friend.

I taped pages from a magazine

to my bedroom walls

and she surprisingly approved

said she did the same thing

when she was growing up in Korea.

I couldn’t imagine she would

have preteen posters of

Duran Duran and Rick Springfield

she seemed too pragmatic for

soft pop heart crush idols

she lived a war torn childhood.

But her acknowledgment

that I was interested in men

was the closest thing

to a birds and bees

sex talk that we never had.

We practiced the don’t ask don’t tell method,

the survive by omission logic

our family specialized in denial.

I remember when she once

snuck pizza to me in my room

after Father angrily announced

that I…

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