They only stand a while
Contrived to separate
Built of stone and concrete
Still . . .
None last forever.
In the meantime
They are unimaginary
Casting pain and want
Stood twenty years
More than one hundred lost their lives
One side to the other.
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
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
Their concrete canvases
Fenced off with hog wire
To keep amateurs away
Brilliant images evoke remembrance of a wall that was
Beyond the reach of common sight and unencumbered
By the weight of mass
The walls of class
Between the rich and poor
Others we build around ourselves
Some who dare, protest
Attempt a crossing
As most wait impatiently to watch them fall
Knowing their inbred failure:
Reason for existence
And high maintenance . . . The cost.
Published: Barely South Review Boundaries Issue 2011