It's not the kind of wall to stop you or your kin
from crossing to the other side.
It is the kind of wall that will halt you in your
tracks, because of the art of diplomacy.
Take a pair of woman's hands: fine, long fingered,
bones brittle but supple in deftness and kindness.
See how she takes the spade, digs the trench,
cuts through the soil to lay foundations.
How she lingers over every stone, its shape,
whether scarred, or scabbed with lichen crusts.
How she imagines each unique rock
expelled from the unstilled bedrock, understanding
the years of their standing in the weathering
ways of sun and storm and dreich, or laden,
rain-heavy, at the bottom of the garden where
the couch grass snakes its wiry roots.
She will separate each rock, large to one side,
small to the other, take a chisel and a hammer
to splice, to cut those tiny odd-shaped pieces
– they will do for the infill. Every stone,
its patina mottled or smooth will have a place
in this woman's wall, as will every easy-to-nest rock.
A wall is built one stone by one stone,
fitting in with the neighbours on all sides.