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After the Fall

by Bruce Dodson

  • Walls . . .
  • They only stand a while
  • Contrived to separate
  • Describing boundaries
  • Built of stone and concrete
  • Still . . .
  • None last forever.
  • In the meantime
  • They are unimaginary
  • And expensive
  • Casting pain and want
  • Both sides
  • What reason?
  • Who decided?
  • The Berlin wall
  • Stood for twenty years
  • More than one hundred lost their lives
  • Attempting crossing
  • One side to the other.
  • Tumbled now
  • Fractured remains have become souvenirs
  • People buy chunks of it in shops
  • That lay in wait
  • At Checkpoint Charlie
  • Where a section has been left to stand
  • A grim memorial
  • Tourist attraction
  • Covered with spray-paint artwork over time
  • Passers-by names and comments.
  • These remaining sections have been whitewashed
  • Re-grafittied by professionals
  • Fine artists born on either side
  • In celebration of its fall
  • Great concrete canvases
  • Fenced off with hog wire
  • To keep amateurs away
  • Ironic.
  • Brilliant images evoke remembrance of a wall that was
  • As other walls remain
  • More permanent
  • Beyond the reach of common sight and
  • unencumbered
  • By the weight of mass
  • The walls of class
  • Invisible.
  • Still others we have built around ourselves
  • our neighbors
  • nations
  • lovers
  • children.
  • Some who dare, protest
  • While others wait impatiently to watch them fall
  • Knowing their inbred failure:
  • Reason for existence
  • And high maintenance
  • The cost.



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