Berlin, 1930s

James Greene

Men in white on ladders
Scale the walls, then pose on planks,
Staring straight ahead as if they’re peeing;
All afternoon hands juggle.

Then, bottoms bulging out of overalls, descend,
To admire their dizzy handiwork.
No wonder Hitler gave this up
For something more dazzling:

Blond clowns parade or somersault like tanks,
Brown flags and bunting flap like bandages,
To make the grown-up children
Laugh like drains.