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Choosing Burden

Choosing Burden P H I L C H O I My mother tells us we are descended from royalty--the Lee dynasty from generations back. On my side were kings, she says, and your father's father was a gold baron, the richest man in all of Korea. She picks her teeth with her pinkie and pauses to make sure that we children are listening. We're in the backyard eating corn on the cob, being told that we're princes, golden children. My father knows these stories, pays little attention; he tends to the grill with one hand, a beer in the other. They're ready, he says. My mother stops her story to go open buns. I have a hard time believing these legends. Where is our kingdom? Where is our gold? My father, dressed in plaid shorts and a tank-top undershirt, flips blackened burgers. His stomach--a little soft from too much Budweiser, the King of Beers--hangs comfortably over his belt. Maybe my mother doesn't see what I see: the back of our brown one-story house, our trampoline and crab-apple tree, and our lawn of almost a half acre, which my brother, Charlie, and I mow for ten dollars apiece. Maybe my mother http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Manoa University of Hawai'I Press

Choosing Burden

Manoa , Volume 24 (2) – Feb 28, 2012

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-943x
Publisher site
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Abstract

P H I L C H O I My mother tells us we are descended from royalty--the Lee dynasty from generations back. On my side were kings, she says, and your father's father was a gold baron, the richest man in all of Korea. She picks her teeth with her pinkie and pauses to make sure that we children are listening. We're in the backyard eating corn on the cob, being told that we're princes, golden children. My father knows these stories, pays little attention; he tends to the grill with one hand, a beer in the other. They're ready, he says. My mother stops her story to go open buns. I have a hard time believing these legends. Where is our kingdom? Where is our gold? My father, dressed in plaid shorts and a tank-top undershirt, flips blackened burgers. His stomach--a little soft from too much Budweiser, the King of Beers--hangs comfortably over his belt. Maybe my mother doesn't see what I see: the back of our brown one-story house, our trampoline and crab-apple tree, and our lawn of almost a half acre, which my brother, Charlie, and I mow for ten dollars apiece. Maybe my mother

Journal

ManoaUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Feb 28, 2012

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