WALLS

the first comers made stone walls
because they had to–
to clear the land save the plowshare keep the cow out of the corn
Set boulder upon stone upon rock any way they could
fit them together to sit in a row like brothers at supper.
Maybe some good year added a pair of granite gate-posts.

morning glory
lichen and moss
woodchuck
frost-heave
bramble and rose

The next settlers hauled stones hewed
from a quarry added them to balance the wild rocks
chinked their walls and trimmed them true
solid as a signed contract their treaty with the land

dewberry
wild grape
honeysuckle
bittersweet
cat-briar and creeper

The latecomers taken with the lore of stonewalls
fashion theirs make a statement to stand tall
even as an army guarding essential territory
their countenance unworn naked and proud
no-fault walls without chinks or flaws
the stones fresh from a stoneyard
installed by experts in shirts bright with logos

The walls settle into the land
the voles and vines are watching
the wild rose
the woodchuck wait
and the invisible
spores of the lichen