The wooden western fence
separates our two properties.
It says this is mine, and that
is yours—clarifies our ownership
with succinct demarcation.
To our families, neighbors, the
world looking on, it says it all.
Frost noted that nobody really
likes a fence, and Sandburg
said only death and rain and
tomorrow can pass through
A fence is the age old
dilemma starting with Adam
and, mother of all living, Eve.
The tree in the garden of Paradise
didn’t look like a fence but was.
And Frost was right. People
just have to taste the fruit on
the other side of the wall. That
freedom of open borders glitters
like fool’s gold in a silver sparkling
Borders break in time and
decay all on their own. They vanish in the
cold edges of night, in the dark
grinding, perishing erosion.
Even in this groaning and heaving
sub-paradise, lines turn to powder
sinking to ashes and the lowest
canyon without the repair and
upkeep of kind humankindness.
The fence is the raw law that did
teach us well, strapped around
our arms and wrapped around
our brains. It harnessed our bodies,
but not our hearts. But when the blinding
light buries the seed of change,
we pull us stakes. All grown
up now, we see our distorted forms in
the mirror of living words, shaped like
an invisible fence. Freely transformed,
to come and go,
we wager the fruit on
the other side of the free
and open meadow tastes
good, but not everything
good is essential. We spend a
lifetime unbuilding the fence
of separation board by
board and depend on the
delineation of ancient bloodline.
~Bonnie Saul Wilks, June 1, 2011, Estes Park, Colorado