“Rats” by Papa Osmubal

Papa Osmubal


It is not my mother I miss, but the idea of a mother–figure. I especially miss someone when I’m alone at night with the family of rats running around upstairs.”
—Sun Joo, an abandoned Korean girl, as featured in Postmagazine, Hong Kong, June 13, 1999.

What will I think of?—
my mother who moved out
and lived with another man?
my father who recently died
of excessive alcohol intake?
my grandparents whom I never
have ever seen even once?

I do not know
what is in my head tonight
that I can’t fall asleep.
Ah, those rats again up in the ceilings!
I am not disturbed by their noise and squeaks,
but their being a happy family.

from Rattle #22, Winter 2004

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