At the Border, 1979

‘It is your last check-in point in this country!'
We grabbed a drink -
soon everything would taste different.

The land under our feet continued
divided by a thick iron chain.

My sister put her leg across it.
‘Look over here,' she said to us,
‘my right leg is in this country
and my left leg in the other.'
The border guards told her off.

My mother informed me: We are going home.
She said that the roads are much cleaner
the landscape is more beautiful
and people are much kinder.

Dozens of families waited in the rain.
‘I can inhale home,' somebody said.
Now our mothers were crying. I was five years old
standing by the check-in point
comparing both sides of the border.

The autumn soil continued on the other side
with the same colour, the same texture.
It rained on both sides of the chain.

We waited while our papers were checked,
our faces thoroughly inspected.
Then the chain was removed to let us through.
A man bent down and kissed his muddy homeland.
The same chain of mountains encompassed all of us.

READ THIS POEM IN OTHER LANGUAGES
COMMENTS OF THE POEM

It's a good poem. My year 8 students seem to enjoy reading. Great for PEA paragraphing.

1 0 Reply