Building Wall

—John Hopkins

Frost had it right, I suppose. Walls divide.

But something there is that needs to build one.

Maybe it’s the feel of swung steel slice-

gouging and pitching stubborn sod and soil

until a trench—two feet deep—is formed then

fed hard helpings of quarter-inch crushed stone,

on which float to be sunk sluggish base rocks

shuvslud, barred, and pinched into position;


the field stones gagged from the earth by plow blades

are glove-handled, turned, faced, then slid to fit

athwart a seam; chinked to steady, stared at

until another slab is picked and placed

upon this geometric monument

to our deep Ozymandian desire

to swallow wind, drink rain, and freeze the sun.