“Star Festival”

Bamboo branch and colored paper leaves.
Ink spilled across the table and cheeky grins.
Wish to the Princess, the Weaver, the Harp,
Prayer that it comes true.

Why do we wish – the little ones ask –
Please, grandmother, tell us the reason why.
The story behind the festival of stars.
Tell again about it.

It’s a tearful story, a legend:
Of two lovers, a goddess and a cowherd boy.
They loved and loved and maybe loved too much, for
A god tore them apart.

This jealous god, hateful and bitter,
Separated him and her by deep waters; swift
Star-filled currents and no way safely across.
Their days passed by slowly.

They longingly gaze on summer nights
Waiting for the time the magpies come, glowing
With light from the moon, there to bridge the way. Then,
These lovers can embrace.

Celebrate the festival of stars –
Tanabata, Qixi, Chilseok – small ones. It’s
The day they meet, the cowherd and the princess,
Vega and her Altair.


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