An old couple in the middle of a reveling room
Surrounded by their children,
who brought the many grand
and the tiniest of the great
to celebrate.

New glasses, with the stickers still on them.
Have they been washed?
Everybody stops to pray:
*Dai quon sick sai quon
But sanitation worries are soon washed away
by Peking duck, lobster, and walnut shrimp.
**Sic tong, sic fan, everyone.

Borrowed words in a foreign tongue
I give a toast to my grandparents in the simplest of sentences.
For a few fleeting moments
I possess a world
that was always mine but never mine to possess.
Everyone cheers.
But I get the feeling that my friend Tsingdao helped a bit.
After all, my speech wasn't all that impressive.
The Cheshire grins.

My blue nailpolish sparkles under the light.
My aunt comments, and I joke
that I had offered to paint my mothers' nails azure as well.
The color reminds me of the nine koi in the pond outside.
Serene and swimming back and forth,
Reflecting the moonlight.

It was like a fairytale.
Something old, something new,
something borrowed, something blue.
A marriage, a feast, and a song
sung so ferverently that no one noticed
it wasn't quite in tune.
But a few off notes matter little
when there is harmony and family and joy.

Happy 60th anniversary to my grandparents. Here's to many more.

*I'm told this means "big bacteria eat small bacteria." Chinese proverb telling you not to worry about germs because they'll take care of themselves.
** Sic tong quite literally means "Eat soup," and Sic fan means "Eat rice." It is customary to say these phrases before drinking the soup (which comes before the meal) and eating the meal, respectively.