Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
or a mask or a lockdown,
unless they’ve made it themselves
across the southern border
or the north to keep those Canadians
with all their healthcare out.
And Robert Frost who knew New England
and its wall menders
makes a joke of how those who build
between pine cone and apple tree
are foolish and letting freedom go.
But that’s not what we have here,
and those who play the card
say being “free” means doing what pleases us.
Leaders with a spiritual heritage
born of ripping the freedom
from peaceful dwellers in these lands
and bringing in chains so many —
justify it by, how familiar is this?
which usually profits
those who need it … last.
But these days, more true it is —
that good masks make good neighbors,
and six feet apart
outside the grocery or on the beach
keeps neighbors safe,
and spring-mending time
should start with the smaller rocks,
the stones already scattered
by the frost
of danger denied, then handled poorly,
but should make the foundation
for building up again.
And, if we want to come after
to make repair and keep the dying down,
it will take more listening
more learning from others
in this world, wiser ones,
less looking ahead to the ballot box.
Good fences are the ones with gates
that open slowly and with care.
And masks with kind words
on the lips behind them
are what is truly neighbor-needed now.