I grew up during the Leningrad blockade, But then I didnít drink nor roamed the streets. I saw how Badayevsky warehouses were set on fire, Like others, I stood in line to get some bread. Good, brave citizens, what were you doing then, When our city didnít count the bodies of the dead? Some ate bread with caviar, but to me the tobacco Was the only way to save myself from hunger. Because of the cold the birds werenít flying, And the thief had nothing to steal. That winter my parents were picked up by angels, While I was even afraid to fall down. Here were a lot of starved and retarded, Everyone starved, even the prosecutor, And you in the evacuation read a great deal of information, And listened to the radio from Sovinformburo. The blockade went on for too much longer, But our people destroyed its enemies, And one could live, like under the arms of Christ, But the crew of police volunteers is in the way... I will tell you tenderly, citizens with bandages - Donít try to creep into my soul. My private life and my nonpatriotic life Are known well to high branch organs.
© Nathan Mer. Translation, 1991