The Frau Erica Project
Muellers in America:
The first 155 years


Chinatown in Chicago   Joyce Leung (center) and two sisters in Chinatown in the early 1960s. Everyone worked to build the family’s future.

Kam Kwai Chan: Five Poems

Some of Kam Kwai’s writings appeared in Chinese-language newspapers in Chicago. Her poetry incorporates more personal reflections on a long and eventful life.

Content With My Life
Fame and fortune has nothing to do with me,
But I’m never short of anything because I feed on what I plough.
The world changes in the blink of an eye,
And it’s called blessing without corruption in my life.
I’m in high spirits seeing the rising sun bring light to the room,
And the green leaves dance in the breeze to freshen the air.
A clean and elegant room doesn’t need to be big,
And you can enjoy a long life with an untroubled heart.

Joy In The Yard
The green trees make a pleasant shade in the long summer day,
Away from the hot sun in the building, I feel cool in the breeze.
Drunken by the chirping of birds and smell of flowers,
I enjoy the beautiful time to my content.

The autumn wind blows yellow leaves to the ground,
And winter comes again when wild geese fly from north to south.
Thousands of households are prepared for winter season,
Spring and summer will be back when the trees grow green again.

The weather turns warm from freezing cold,
Plants sprout again when spring begins.
There are birds singing in the backyard,
Who bring me encouragement and infinite joy.

Praise For My Daughters’ and Granddaughters’
Completion of School

Six girls make a beautiful blossom,
And the Liang, Li and Situ are one family together.
Bachelors, masters and doctors join hands to make contribution,
Both to hospitals and the general public.

Discouraged by loss of vigor,
The old ox can do nothing when being teased.
He has a clear mind but hard to express,
Only to keep silent and admit dementia himself.
Losing awareness of asleep and awake day and night,
Muddled to tell fullness or hunger.
Staring at people blankly without a word,
Unable to make any move like a floating duckweed.
Pray that I can have a good death instead of miserable living.

Unpredictable Life
Just like the floating clouds in the sky,
Good and bad things happen to people in the world.
If you encounter either of them,
Nothing you can do but cope with it.
Do not be overwhelmed with joy of good luck,
And stay calm facing the disasters in life.

Jin, 2016