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THREE SAFE STEPS FOR MY OLD PROFESSOR by Yelena Mkhitaryan One grey winter morning I was hurrying To catch the metro train to my office, Which is in an out-of-the-way place. Suddenly I caught sight of an old man, Stooping helplessly over some broken, Dislodged steps, covered with icy glass. Miserable and confused, he looked around As if seeking for someone To help him pass. With pain in my heart I recognized my old professor, Our beloved mentor and instructor, Who taught us, among other serious things, How to be successful and honest in life. (What an irony of life!) Bewildered, I ran up to him And helped him out, trying to avoid his eyes, For I couldn't bear to meet the mute And reproachful question in his eyes: With so many new palaces and mansions Built in the place of public squares and gardens, And all made of granite and marble, With so many casinos and restaurants, Lined up in a chaotic manner, And dazzling the eye With no taste and good style, With so many moneybags and oligarchs, Blinded with infatuation for accumulation And competing with one another in defiance: Who can have more in this life - There isn't one who could take care Of those few stone steps That have lain broken for years, Hindering people from passing To the underground station With such a happy sounding name. Distraught and dismayed I continued my way, Feeling utterly degraded for the failure To provide three safe steps for my old instructor. One thought was piercing my mind - What is my professor preaching now? -- Yelena Mkhitaryan was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. After graduating from secondary school in Tbilisi she came to Yerevan where she was admitted to the English Department of the Yerevan State University. At present she is professor of General Linguistics and Theoretical English Grammar at Yerevan State University. She is the author of a number of English textbooks and manuals for university students and numerous articles on linguistics, English grammar in particular. Writing poems has become a kind of inspiration for her of late, but she has not published any of her writings yet.