David Burliuk (1882–1967), “Tea Time”
Courtesy Alchetron

When she was in Foreign Service school
There was a teacher of conversation
From Germany who had been in
The Soviet Union for its invasion

Not much in combat, he wrote back home
To sister to send him sewing needles
For Russian housewives’ sewing machines
To barter for butter and other comestibles

Why could they not have skipped the invasion
And settled for such domestic trade—
Let the Wehrmacht down Unter den Linden
Show off their butter on parade?

Is there something un-rational in our race
That allows its madness to take place?