Excerpts from
Foreign Exchange

jolene hanks, owner, hudson hardware  (page 5)
To the summer people, looking for the simpler life,
Hudson Landing is always the same;
It never changes.
For them, it emerges every year under the hot sun
When sailboats and swimmers dot the lake, 
And young couples from the city
Ask about real estate prices on lots just outside town.
Now things have changed forever.
Our town will be invaded by outsiders,
Caught in the glare of media attention.
Simpler times will shatter forever, like ice breaking
     up on the lake.
The old-timers at the coffee shop remember the 
     old times,
When the logging trucks rolled through at all hours, 
When there were three good restaurants on
     Main Street,
When people square-danced every Thursday night in 
     Veteransí Park.
I remember, most of all, the Majestic Theater-
Saturday afternoons of popcorn and two-reelers,
When we screamed at monster movies,
And Evan, my future husband, chased me down 
     the aisles.
The Majestic closed thirty years ago.
Now I remember the good old days,
When War of the Worlds raged and Evan was too 
     shy to kiss me.
The monsters have returned.
This time theyíre real.

kwame richards  (page 55)
From the window in my building, high up,
The moon hangs so low I swear
I can reach out and grab it.
People think just because I come from the projects
My futureís going to be shooting hoops or dealing drugs.
People donít know anything.
My mama always worked,
Even though she didnít bring home much.
My mama always made sure
We did our homework, went to church, 
And treated people with respect.
If someoneís up front with me, 
Iím up front with them.
Iím not saying Iím gonna make a million dollars.
Iím not saying Iím gonna be world-famous,
But I am saying, with Godís help,
Iím gonna grab the goodies of the world
And stick them in my pocket.
Iím gonna go places, youíll see,
But Iím always gonna remember the view from my window, high up.

Return to the main Foreign Exchange page