One of My Published Poems!

This poem first appeared in Here Comes Everyone (Silhouette Press) online publication of “Toys and Games”.

I lived in and worked all over Russia a few years after the wall came down. This poem encapsulates the hardship of my experience there and the despair that followed afterwards. I hope you enjoy it.

(note: the photo was not part of the original publication)

The Cold War Games

Jerry T. Johnson

it was late October 1997 in Moscow

my tour of duty in Russia was winding down

my boss and I just finished dinner at a restaurant positioned just four miles from the Kremlin

after dinner we sipped vodka and talked

about fast-moving sports cars

the car he owned was very sporty,

it was a slick silver American model

he left at home in the USA because

it was much too costly to bring it into Russia

moreover he was afraid to have it stolen

stolen like many other fine western cars

owned by many other westerners spending time building factories, refurbishing warehouses, furnishing distribution centers, buying delivery trucks, installing computers, configuring software, counting Russian rubles, counting Czech crowns, counting Polish zlotys, counting Hungarian forints

wherever the former Soviet Union abode

there we were with all our technical toys

playing round after round of business roulette

deluded into thinking that the Cold War games were over