Poem by Kang Byeongcheol

Poem by Kang Byeongcheol
Mr. Kang Byeongcheol was born in Seosan, Chungnam. After serving as a Korean language teacher for 36 years, he is now dedicated to writing. He published his poetry collections, "Childhood Diary", "Hyenas Seek Rotten Meat" "Flowers Are Tears", "Homo Middle School Sapiens", "I Love You, All Fools", and "Let's Fight Again". He published the full-length novels "Harujil", "Tomato and Potato", "Dalgni" the novel collections "Fourteen Years Old, Jongno", and "Chopei Is Dead". He published prose collections such as "Mother's Table", "Writer's Seat", and "Teacher Tsumung's Misadventures".
As the eldest of eight siblings,
Wash dishes and clean the room as soon as I grow up
When I lay on the floor doing my homework,
What studying, what cursed studying?
“Will you become a judge or a prosecutor?”
Grandmother's scolding was not really a curse.
She said it was lucky not to become kindling wood.
I tried hard to find happiness, fitting into the count of letters,
But all the girls in fairy tales were only daughters.
Meeting princes from neighboring lands on white horses,
Finally becoming queens and having grand feasts -
I never dreamed of such distant stories.
If I had lived alone like Cinderella,
Or had only one or two siblings like Mong-sil,
I would have read as much as I wanted in my own room.
While gathering the laundry, a ‘tap’ on my forehead
With the gentle embrace of the spring breeze,
It moistens the corners of my eyes in the softness of April.
여덟 남매 열고 태어났으니
철들자마자 설거지와 청소
바닥에 엎드려 숙제라도 하면
공부는 무슨 얼어죽을 공부
판사가 거냐 검사가 거냐
할머니 핀잔도 악담이 아니라며
불쏘시개 되지 않은 행운이라며
글자 맞추며 바득바득 행복 찾았지만
동화 나라 소녀들 모두 외동딸
백마 이웃 나라 왕자님 만나
마침내 왕비 되어 잔치판 벌이는
아득한 사연 꿈꾼 전혀 없다
나도 신데렐라처럼 혼자 살았더라면
몽실언니처럼 동생이 한두 명이었더라면
혼자 쓰는 방에서 실컷 읽었을 거야
빨랫감 챙기다가, 이마를때리는
봄바람 감싸는 화사함으로
사월의 눈시울 물씬물씬 적시는 것이다

Prepared Angela Kosta Academic, journalist, writer, poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, translator