My sister was my bully once upon a long time ago
She hated me for existing and for being pampered
But I was the designated baby
So leave me alone!
Stop commanding me to pray before I eat
The food that you made for our family
It’s not my fault that you were born before me
You were the second born not the first
Like an asian daughter curse malady.
You had to cook and clean and it made you so mean to me
I was the mahng neh, the youngest *egg-y of our migrant clan.
You couldn’t accept or understand me
You criticized how I ran or sniffed or breathed
You couldn’t stand to take care of me
You made me cry waterfalls everyday with gross snot running
You made my dimpled smile crumple down in a frown
You terrorized me with hellfire religion like a sadistic clown
You spied on me under my door with a mirror on the floor
You made me triple lock the windows and doors
Because of Ted Bundy but he was already locked up
But then again he did escape Colorado and raced through Florida moors
To savage and ravage with kill thrill gore galore.
You made me paranoid of every known disaster.
“Hide the knives and scissors quickly!”
Father’s raging at Mother again and it’s DEFCON four
Listen at the door to the screams and struggle
Our childhood hearts are pounding with adrenaline
Our nimble hands are searching through dark drawers
To hide any shining sharp metal edges
This was our life for 20 years or so
We were tiny: detectives, spies, referees, nurses and hostages
We were latch key children who fended for ourselves against any monsters
Keep quiet and don’t break anything unless you want a beating
I was never really beaten I just had to watch and feel forever guilty
Survivor’s guilt lives and breathes in me even to this day.
Play monopoly, clue and sorry! with an exclamation point
Ride the bike to the comic book store that had a pedophile corner of porn
I couldn’t bike so I got a free ride on the back of my sister’s
Blood sweat and a faucet of tears, she carried more of the burden
She was my nanny, my cook, my governess-like torturer
She resented my undeserved privilege
She was the baby before I ruined it
I stole her princess crown and ate all the chocolate
Mom stashed a whole bag of snickers in my closet
“Don’t show to sister,” she smiled with a loving whisper
But Sister was always sneaking every chance she’d get
She rummaged through my closet and yelled,
“You, sneaky thief! I’m telling Mom!”
“Mom’s the one who gave it to me!” I retorted.
“You’re lying! Wait til I tell Mother! You’re in deep trouble!”
I lived my childhood years curled up into a ball
Like a Rolly Polly hedgehog in a fetal position
With salty pillow puff eyes drenched in suffering.
I love you, Sister despite our falling
You’ve apologized a thousand times too many
And I throughly believe you
There’s nothing to forgive anymore.
We both did what we needed to, to live
Our bittersweet lives were part of our calling
Fate brought us together to fight and survive
And by grace we made it out alive.
*(Egg-y means Baby in Korean)