The Wall

(a poem to be read out loud)

Standing before the man
in odd number sides
a single seamless wall.
It watched. He stirred no air
just rhymes of rise and fall.
Awake — they faced.

The wall like so many, changed
a woman with the man’s nose
her time ticks ever slower
an arm reaching out. 
He knew what it would find
rather, not find.

The man gave his answer thus —

The wall was determined
a youthful boy at youth’s best 
smiled knowingly, his lips 
formed the man’s name
in his eyes, a secret 
some would die to relive.

The man gave his answer thus —

The wall impatient, showed
vacant sightless sockets
oozing punctures in discoloured skins
They accused. Remember us?
Only a torn flag animated the scene.

The man gave his answer thus —

The corpses twisted into one
Now twinned the man
faced his cloned flesh
unflinching. In a moment’s gaze
eyes met and a million questions raised.

But always the man gave his answer thus —

The wall untwisted into
its blank uncoloured gaze
So, it waited —

Then in resign
there was no more
only the man falling 
in freedom.


Read our introduction to find out more about Chalkboard’s “Readings” project, respond to this poem, or submit your own work: