Friday, November 11, 2011

Nighttime in Kharkov (a plumbing poem)

Twas nighttime in Kharkov, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Denis was napping, all snug in his bed,
While visions of orange juice danced in his head.
After 8 hours of cold-you do the math,
I had just settled in for a lovely warm bath.

When there in the kitchen there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bath to see what was the matter.
Away to the sink I flew like a flash,
And a geyser of water erupted with a crash.

Although the city was covered in new-fallen snow
scalding hot water was beginning to flow
over the counter and onto the floor
the ocean of water continued to pour.

The faucet had corroded, so suddenly, so quick
there was no way to stop it, no easy trick.
More rapid than eagles the tidal wave came,
And I whistled, and shouted, and called Denis by name!

"Now Denis! now, darling! We've sprung such a leak!
All hands to the deck, the future looks bleak!
I'll do the bailing, you fix the sink!
Now hurry up! Hurry! We're starting to sink!"

He ran toward the kitchen with sleep in his eyes
As I frantically sped to keep the floor dry.
See, we live at the top, and I have a feeling
the neighbors below don't want water on their ceiling.

After minutes of struggle we were almost afloat,
All we needed now was a little rowboat.
The situation was dire, no minutes to waste
down to the wire, a life or death race.

Timur answered his phone and wasted no time
(In fact he's the hero of this little rhyme)
He told us the secret of the second “off” switch
located behind the toilet in a well-hidden niche.

The boiling water stopped flowing, and all became still
we dried off the wall and mopped up the spill.
We sit here now calmly in the Ukrainian moonlight
Nighttime in Kharkov, and to all a good night!

Post Script:
Ukrainian apartments: if it's broken, you pay
Whatever you do, you can't disobey.
To the market tomorrow, we'll be on our way
to buy a new faucet, hip hip hooray. (NOT!)


  1. Thanks, Plumber Middleton! It was such a traumatic event that we just had to create a poem about it :p

  2. OH Katherine! You make this 5 a.m. read SO much fun! LOL...

  3. Hi, Katherine. Your story is funny from one side and terrible from another. I know very good how it is fix the pipes in such situation.
    I really hope everything is absolutely OK now with your apartment!

    Nice poem!

    1. Hi Sergiy! Yes, everything is okay now because we live in a different apartment :p The poem is based on the most famous Christmas poem of all- The Night Before Christmas. Have ever you read it?