I am the most sober of all sober men: I have moral fibers, Iím gritty. So I was elected by most of my kin, Who gave me a list on eight pages to keep, And sent me to shop the big city. Both my sister and my aunt Want to have a faux fur coat, And my brother yearns for coffee on his table. Son-in-law did ask for roe, Wife was yelling to buy more, And her dad demanded brandy with nice labels. Iím wounded, shell-shocked and a little afraid, Forgetful of things asked in writing. Iíve learned off by heart all my shopping requests And hid all my cash in the lining. So, my brother needs a coat For my aunt - a coffee pot. My wifeís dad instructed: "Buy in bulk, you got it?" Son-in-law eats squirrel roe Wifeís obsessive with faux fur And godfathers will suffice with rum or vodka. I bumped many backs, and I stomped many toes, I barreled my way through their rear. To save my long list from the capture by foes, I swallowed it whole with no fear. Keep in mind: a pot for aunts, Wife is happy with fur cloth, And that dad of hers drinks vodka that is branded. For godfathers: all you want, Son-in-law gets rabbits paws, Sisters wanted something pretty; that is handy! So will I return carrying nothing but bags? Yet soon shopping quarters were found. "What currency do you possess?" - Iíve been asked. "Donít worry," - said I. "Itís not pounds." "So, a coffee pot with fur, Son-in-law will work for roe, And godfathers are not happy when theyíre sober! Aunts have sided with my bro: He drinks wine until no more. And for me this ugly yellow in the saucer!" I canít recall dollars, the sterlings of words, Iím struck by the stark understanding: What for Iíve been spilling my blood all along? What for Iíve been eating this list thatís so long? And why I keep cash in the lining? Still, I need an instant pot, Plus some booze for this old dolt, And my brother could drink hooch until he wobbles. Where to buy a fax fur aunt? Vodka flavored sugar coats? And godfathers should be happy with two bottles.                    
© Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2020