After the Fall

by Bruce Dodson

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

Brilliant images evoke remembrance of a wall that was
As other walls remain
More permanent
Beyond the reach of common sight and
By the weight of mass
The walls of class

Still others we have built around ourselves
our neighbors

Some who dare, protest
While others wait impatiently to watch them fall
Knowing their inbred failure:
Reason for existence
And high maintenance
The cost.

Bruce Dodson is an artist and photographer who writes fiction and poetry in Seattle, Washington. His work has been published in Sein und Werden, Kerouac’s Dog Magazine, Breadline Press West Coast Poetry Anthology, Blue Collar Review, Centrifugal Eye, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Pearl Literary Magazine, Pulsar Poetry, Struggle, Foliate Oak, Off the Coast, Fiction International, and Qarrtsiluni.