The Dividing Line

a poem by tobias kerins, UK

I walk the pavements covered in winter snow
So crisp the air with a wintry bite
The sky’s so blue and the sun does glow
Temperature zero Fahrenheit

The streets are quiet not many people about
Shop windows covered not with frost but wood
Deserted cars they stand all burned out
A lifeless and eerie neighbourhood

On the corner in uniform stands a soldier
Long grey overcoat with black shiny boots
Armed weaponry hanging over his shoulder
Knows if he pulls the trigger the gun it shoots

The old lady hobbles slowly down the street
She has a tin of sardines and a loaf of bread
Wanting to get home but not fast on her feet
It’s the first time in days she will have been fed

Houses struggle to put on the lights
Even the rats are finding it hard to eat
The future is bleak and nothing excites
The lives of these people so incomplete

Barbed wire it spirals like decorations
Yet it is razor sharp like a lion’s teeth
A defining line creating two nations
No flight over or escape underneath

People hear the laughter with the hustle and bustle
Their minds create images of wonder
The ching-ching of change and the Deutschmarks they rustle
But the dream is disturbed by a violent thunder

He fell to temptation he could take no more
Soldier raised his rifle and took careful aim
The bullet it hit and he slumped to the floor
It was shoot to kill not wound or maim

Checkpoint Charlie was the gateway to the west
The streets of eastern Berlin knew no better
But some of its people began to detest
And against Communist leaders began a vendetta

Time took its toll and assassinations were commonplace
The rules were simple you cannot escape under or over the wall
But the east was about the west to embrace
As of the Berlin monstrosity they welcomed the fall

One of the most hideous divisions in the historical day
Divided thousands literally only by a few feet
Somehow for decades managed to stay
Until common sense made it obsolete

Brick by brick the wall if fell
Second by second freedom approached faster
Gone were the days and the years of hell
No dictation by an evil master

The Note
The Maltese Falcon Vol V
No Man's Land

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