Memoir Poem : Born to Rescue Them

We children,

aged 6,12,14,


and comforted her,

against our father’s

constant criticism

and sudden rages.

But we were

still children,

sophisticatedly wise,

but we couldn’t

handle the adult

level of responsibility,

that protecting her required.

We couldn’t stand guard

by her side at all times,

and we couldn’t release her

from the hellish

marriage cage

she’d inherited,

but we were there too,

with her

and beside her,

like voluntarily hostages,

as surrogate brides and husbands;

as reminders of innocence,

as child angels,

as if we were

born to rescue them.

(Digitally altered photograph of an original painting by Judy Eun Kyung Kim c2016).