Viet Nam Haiku V12

A family with
Major past conflicts –
At uneasy peace today




Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.



Notes to this poem…

Please click here for the background to this haiku collection if you want to know more about it.

This summarizes the extended paternal family that awaited me in Viet Nam as pointed out in the previous haiku in this collection.

There are nine living members on Dad’s side of the family. The first four are brothers, while the last five are half-sisters, which Dad never told me about. I found out accidentally when I was 26 when someone during a car ride in Vancouver said something about my Paternal “step” Grandmother. Naturally, I stopped the conversation and got the truth out. My Paternal Grandfather had remarried and had five girls with the second wife, the one I knew as my blood Paternal Grandmother. The actual one had died long before I was born.

That wasn’t the issue at stake as to why the family had major past conflicts. There were in-fighting about burial of the Paternal Grandfather, with which wife, and who was to pay for it, and so on. The youngest Uncle is the only still in Viet Nam. He’s quite wealthy by standards in the country. Yet, he doles out money to the Aunts only when they absolutely need it. Not a lot of general gifts or helping to let them lead a slightly more comfortable life. They are doing all right, but some things, if he really cared, he’d do more. Hell, I almost do more at this point now that the trip is over, and I don’t have a 10K+ square feet home for each of my five kids! I don’t have kids but I’m in an 800 square feet apartment. The Uncle also pays the husband of the oldest Aunt money to take care of Paternal Grandfather’s big tomb in the countryside. That husband has issues, but there’s no need to pay some measly amount for him to do the work. Just help out and pay someone to take care of it already! It’s all a very formally polite and patronizing relationship almost 100% fake for the sake of politeness.

Then there’s the fourth Aunt, I believe. She doesn’t really talk to any of the others unless absolutely necessary. She somehow laid claim to a part of Paternal Grandfather’s house where a few of the other Aunts still in Viet Nam live. Yet, she locks the room she never uses, to the point that when the extended family returned and we needed space to stay, she came down to kick another Aunt out of “her” room and locked it to prevent it from being used! Now that’s family! (sarcasm)

There are dozens of other tales I could easily write a book on. Some will come out with other haiku in the collection characterizing each member of the extended Paternal family I met while in Viet Nam. They’re coming up next!

Please click here to see all the haiku in this collection about Viet Nam.


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