"Out of our way!"
Armed soldiers penetrate milling masses
crowds part like the Red Sea
stranding islands of confusion.
"Move along! Break it up!"
Ruthless hands grab
Clinging couples wrenched apart
"Come on, come on! Out of the way!"
Fence-building production line
thrusts posts into earth
unrolls massive wire
hammering the divide.
"My child! My child!"
mother in soldier's hands
flung down away from the fence.
little boy stands alone,
on the wrong side.
"Hold those posts steady. Mind my hands!"
In the soldiers' wake
construction team sails on
"Willem! Willem! Go with Uncle Karl."
espaliered on wire
"I'll be with you soon.
Can you hear me, Willem?"
"Get away from the fence.
There's nothing you can do."
Returning soldier siezes
casts down again
"Willem! Go with Uncle Karl!"
Turning along the fence
to pass fence builders
to out-strip soldiers
to reach wave's crest
prior to breaking.
Thrusting into panicked herd
through to the other side
to the right side
bursting into a clear space
plunging down a side street.
back back along an alley
to reach the street
to lead to her son.
Gripping Karl dragging Willem
across the square
towards side-street safety
Emerging blocks away
she struggles towards
the sound of his voice.
They clutch They cling They weep
Across the square the confused the sundered
the lucky the unlucky
comfort each other
and gaze at the wall.
“Out of our way!”
Soldiers pushed roughly through. The crowd parted like the Red Sea. Islands of the confused froze.
“Move along! Break it up!”
Ruthless hands grabbed stunned individuals. Clinging couples were wrenched apart, shoved aside.
“Come on, come on! Out of the way!”
Behind them, like a production line, fence-builders thrust posts into earth, unrolled massive wire, lay it against then fixed it to them.
“My child!” A desperate mother struggled in the hands of a soldier, who flung her down and away from the fence. “My child!”
“Mother! Mother!” Trembling, crying, the little boy stood alone, on the other side of the construction.
“Hold those posts steady. I don’t want to hurt my hands!”
In the wake of the soldiers, the construction team moved purposefully on.
“Willem! Willem! Go with Uncle Karl. I’ll be with you soon. Can you hear me, Willem?”
Clinging to the wire, the distraught mother called to her child. Returning along the fence, the soldier siezed her then again cast her down and away.
“Get away from the fence. Go home. There’s nothing you can do.”
“Willem! Go with Uncle Karl!”
She turned along the fence, rushing, rushing to pass the fence builders, to out-strip the soldiers, to get ahead of the point of parting. She thrust herself into the mass of milling bodies. Pushing, pushing through to the other side, she burst into a clear space, then plunged down a side street. Laughing and crying, she staggered back along an alley to reach the street that would lead to her son.
Gripped by Karl, Willem was being dragged across the square towards the safety of the side-streets. As they reached the corner, she emerged a block away, then ran towards the sound of his voice.
They clutched. The clung. They wept.
Across the square the confused, the sundered, the lucky and the unlucky, comforted each other and gazed at the wall.