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.

Published in the 2010-10-08 issue: 
Tags
Also by this author
The role of solidarity

Please email comments to letters@commonwealmagazine.org and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Must Reads

Politics
Religion
Culture
Books
Books
Collections