Building Walls by Glen Sorestad

with apologies to Frost and Sandburg

I live on the northern side of a border that could become a wall—the longest undefended boundary in the world between two countries. Saner heads will prevail, I keep telling myself, because one of America’s notable poets mused, Something there is / that doesn’t love a wall. Indeed, he insisted, it wants it down. As human history goes, it was mere minutes ago in November 1989, when we unanimously cheered as the Berlin Wall was dismantled, section by section, piece by piece. Soviet barriers crumbled. That was then and this is now.

If a nation must build obtrusive borders to satisfy some inherent desire of nationhood, I understand the reasoning, though drawn lines and walls are the progenitor of separateness and borders can and do give birth to walls. Those who would build walls to separate themselves from others can never build them high enough, or strong enough, or root them deep enough, to hold at bay their fears, nor keep the living breath of freedom and the clamorous bell of equality from resounding over, under and through.

Glen Sorestad is a much published poet whose latest book, Water and Rock, is a collaborative work with Jim Harris and is published by LCM Press of New Mexico. Sorestad lives in Saskatoon on the northern plains, but makes frequent forays into the American Southwest.