Saint Petersburg is enigmatic
to the average tourist, hoping,
For a quick look , and some shopping:
Sitting, self-satisfied,with an old lady
Praying before her, and Ladoga Lake
For when the Neva River forsakes
The escape of the nomenklatura
To greener, foreign upland pastures
Gunning great Zils to Finnish rapture.
Now they return, slipping in once more,
Palaces and Cathedra again to warm,
Peer from curtains at pulsating swarms
Of paying customers with western cash,
As leathered apparatchiks paw Party Cards,
Both stained brown with age, and disregard;
In such a place of beauty, one's entitled to expect
A modicum of plain dealing, of an honest bob,
Earned in the provision of services – its national job.
And yet the olden days still linger,
Stuck in recollections of a dreadful past,
To ensure old memories the longer last.