I need you to stop running. I am out of breath.
Don’t fear, for I am here
Because you are who I have left.
I used to wake up whenever I heard you scream
Only to realize you are imprisoned in this eternally, haunting dream.
You told me stories of how you walked past the remains of flesh and bones
As you heard the distant echoes of ghostly moans.
Phnom Penh, the home you once knew
Now became a sight of bloody carnage taking place in its view.
The small grain of rice you held in your hand,
Along with the guiding stars at night helped you get to Thailand.
You wanted to end the Khmer nightmare, and tried to make the American Dream,
So you created my brothers and me
But the images of death, fear, and guilt are experiences that you still can’t unsee.
You tried to see your father who lived in Vietnam. For when it was time to reunite,
Your father died just before you were to take that flight.
It could have been a reunion of 20 years…
Instead, for the first time at the age of 9, I saw your only tears.
During the day, in our old home, when I sat in my bed,
I hear your random yells in the kitchen, saying how much you want all those American, Vietnamese, Khmer soldiers dead.
At your best, you were a loving, caring dad
But deep inside, your lifelong traumas that have confined you
Have now driven you mad.
As I remain silent from you,
I never stopped wishing that your liberation from darkness will one day come true.
You don’t ever need to run
Because standing right next to you is your son.
All Rights Reserved by Randy Kim 2015