Aunt Nguyen – where half of
The Paternal family
Evil resides now
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.
Notes to this poem…
The name Nguyen mentioned is read nwin. It is the same pronunciation as the most common last name among the Vietnamese, except with a neutral intonation rather than a raised one like asking a question. She can have this name without being awkward because her last name is Tan.
Aunt Nguyen is a very interesting character. I never actually met her but can judge harshly for the actions she imposed on the family while I was there.
She chipped in to have my Paternal Grandfather’s house expanded over the years, but literally claims one of the rooms to be hers to do with as she pleases rather than share among the family spirit. It’s all over greed and money beyond that, with her expecting to get an equal share of the home among her sisters remaining as her other sisters gradually left for America, even though she didn’t pay for it. That’s not how it works.
When she heard the Aunts were returning, and that I would also be there, among some of the Aunts’ kids visiting from America, Aunt Nguyen came by one day to kick out those who were using the room she claimed to be hers. She locked it with a huge padlock so no one would be able to use it, forcing everyone into the remaining rooms! She also didn’t attend the wedding of one of her nephews, nor gave gifts.
The other Aunts with whom I stayed didn’t tell me most of this until near the end of the trip, when it was obvious Aunt Nguyen’s absence was not going to be reconciled for me to be able to meet her. The other Aunts had kept all this under wraps, pretending to share rooms since they didn’t see much of each other and wanted to spend more time later into the night, then just sleeping there rather than going back to their own rooms, and so on. All the while, I had my own room, which was excessive, but very gratefully appreciated.
The sad part is Aunt Nguyen’s kids suffer from all this family disconnection because of her. However, she’s not the only one in this Paternal family who have less than desirable intentions and actions! Uncle Nam, up next in the haiku list, has his share, too.