This is one of the poems I read during my IG reading back in Year 5 of Quarantine.
I wrote this for a prompt: “Build the Wall/All Walls Fall.”
What I Know About Walls
I know that there is something that does not love them.
Walls are made, of stone or wood or roles or rules.
Some have doors; some have windows;
some block the view of their other side.
Pictures can be hung from them; slogans can be painted on them;
there’s one that can be seen from space.
Another is long and cuts into a hill, a polished black thing
with names etched into its face, reflecting the people who pace alongside it, reading.
There are all kinds of walls.
There are kinds that divide property. Or cities. Countries.
Another sort is there to remind us, of what we’ve lost. Of what we’ve made.
People. Wars. Art and music. Mistakes.
Some walls–closet walls, great walls, walls Mother helps you build–
are meant to keep you safe. Keep them out. Keep you in.
I know all walls must be tended.
With belief, with punishment,
with tools and more paint.
Cheap, badly-poured concrete.
Polishing cloths, survivor’s guilt, and tears.
Without tending, walls crumble.
The weather unseats them so they lean and gap.
Or maybe, eventually, someone wonders why they’re there
in the first place, kicks at them, gets a pick, starts to hack away.
And through the gap or the rubble,
or in its surface,
they see what’s on the wall’s other side.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall–
The land. The wind. The rain. And you. And me.
copyright 2020 by Laura E. Price. Feel free to link to this poem, but please don’t reproduce it without permission.