Where there’s a wall
there’s a way through a
gate or door. There’s even
a ladder perhaps and a
sentinel who sometimes sleeps.
There are secret passwords you
can overhear. There are methods
of torture for extracting clues
to maps of underground passages.
There are zeppelins, helicopters,
rockets, bombs, battering rams,
armies with trumpets whose
all at once blast shatters
Where there’s a wall there are
words to whisper by loose bricks,
wailing prayers to utter, birds
to carry messages taped to their feet.
There are letters to be written —
Faint as in a dream
is the voice that calls
from the belly
of the wall.
Joy Kogawa, “Where There’s a Wall” from Woman in the Woods. Copyright © 1985 by Mosaic Press Publishers. Reprinted by permission of Mosaic Press Publishers.
Source: Woman in the Woods (Mosaic Press Publishers, 1985).