This is my Home

by Neesa Suncheuri

Tirades, the belt and forceful denial,
Beneficial and necessary for my wife.
She is fain and enthusiastic to receive these criticisms, from
Me, the well-meaning father,
And later our son, T, when grown.

She remains beneath us masters all-knowing.
For her to understand what we know, impetuous.
To request an education, appalling.
And to better her character?  Simply achieved by

Raising the children, and
Breathing a sense of feminine charm
Into my bedroom.
A bracelet here, some earrings there…
Cheaply-priced sparkle suffices to silence her.
And even if she does make a complaint,

It is unfounded and irrelevant.
For she is confused by her hormones,
And bound to our, beautiful, honorable cultural
Traditions, such as silently serving tea.  Her

Obedience
Cannot
Be
Changed
Because
It
Is
The
Highest
Form
Of
Respect.

Baked bread.
A pan of corn.
Tried-and-true meals
That make the children
Finish their plates.

Grease stains on the ceiling.
Worn out pots and pans.
A broken dishwasher.
Bottles of soap mixed with water.

She will develop character
As she makes do with less.
As for her beauty?
That is her true wealth,
But she grows poorer each year.

The house has cockroaches.
They’re from the neighbors upstairs.
Sometimes they cook food that smells
Like Korea,
Different than ours.

The kids get good grades in school,
They do their homework when they get home.
Big sister E. helps them,
As she should.

When they finish, they play together,
Seen, but only heard amongst themselves
T cries, but E
Corrects him.  This is weakness.

E. will be a good mother someday.

And sadly, she is already better than
My wife
Ever was.

One day,
My colleagues come over
From the law firm.
I am proud that the apartment has everything
In its place, the kitchen door is
Closed.

E, I am proud of her.
She has tied up her hair,
And has just turned seventeen.
She carries the empty tray away,
My top supervisor J. beckons to me:
“Ah, you are a good father!
You have such a beautiful daughter.”

Indeed.  I understand.
Perhaps shameful,
But I must break a rule.
This is important business.

J. opens the kitchen door…
And goes in.

neesas1

Neesa Suncheuri works as a mental health peer specialist at a housing agency in Queens, New York.  She is the founder of a Facebook discussion group for peer specialists and other recovery enthusiasts, entitled “What is Wellness?  A Mental Health Discussion Group.”  Much of her creative inspiration is rooted in her now-tamed schizophrenia.  She writes poetry and fiction, and maintains a blog called Unlearning Schizophrenia.  She is also a singer/songwriter, and an enthusiast for the German language and culture.  Follow her on Twitter at @neesasuncheuri.

 

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3 thoughts on “This is my Home”

  1. This speaker is so calm and matter-of-fact in telling a horror story, the horror of which he cannot see, one, in various aspect too common even if it were the only one. Yes, this is truly important business.

    Like

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