El Muro / The Wall

No one believed it would happen here
En el Valle
Where the birders find such joy
In spotting rare unique exotic birds.
No one believed they would build it.
Just talk someone said,
“Puro pedo”
“Not to worry, they’ll never get the money,”
But it did happen,
And hardly anyone noticed
The way the land was ripped
The way the sky
Above seemed bluer against the brown metal
Jutting up and up and up
Like soldiers saluting a distant god
Sentinels silently guarding… what?
Perhaps a way of life
Incongruent with their dreams,
A pastiche of broken people
Cross their quotidian desires
From one side to the other
All legal and safe
Sipping margaritas en el Mercado
Or shopping at Walmart
Best of both worlds,
A friend tells me. But you gotta be legal to live it
What a life! Not everyone sees the wall.

While fences may make good neighbors
Walls create enemies: suspicious, defensive,
Fearful, who hide behind a wall
solid as fear.
In the past,
Walled cities died, made way for open space
Open commerce
Open lives
Spilling beyond restrictive walls.
Why are we closing it all up again?
The whole world will be walled again.
Pos no se, comadre. Seguro que
Ni ellos mismos lo saben.                       

May 15, 2009 written on a visit to Nuevo Progreso,Tamaulipas, Méjico 
Previously published in Vandaljournal/Walls