Friday, January 28, 2011

12 Write About a Memory about a Stranger You Met on a Trip


You left the Ukraine in 1980
with nothing but the shoes
on your feet and a few rubles
and now you are
a millionaire again.

And when you returned
to see your family you found
they had named streets
after murderers and turned
the electricity on once a day
for 3 hours.

You live on a wealthy island now
but once you made 1000
pairs of shoes for the Soviet Economy
and 99,000 pair for your customers.
The lines stretched around the block
of your Kiev shop and when the last shoe
was sold your family had a pile of illegal cash,
So the party began.

And when I asked you
if today you invested
in the stock market
you looked at me quizzically
and said,
"What is stock market?
Stock is the shoes in my warehouse.'

And when you said that,
I thought about
how a happy life is
an investment of sorts,
and self knowledge
the main asset.

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