CHECKPOINT CHARLIE

 

ACHTUNG BABY!
This refreshingly quiet street
Round the corner from Checkpoint Charlie
A miasma of tourists
Taking selfies
Next to two fake American soldiers
Dressed in full cold war regalia
Beethoven’s Moonlight sonata
Keyed by unseen hands
Drifting through the lazy afternoon sunshine.
And you framed in the cafe window
Waiting for me.
*
All quiet on the western front these days
The almost musical sound of jackboots
No longer linger; no Stasi lurking
Berlin is no longer east or west
Just plain Berlin will do
*
Twenty five years ago this was no mans land
Then the walls came tumbling down
Almost by accident
A flurry of missed communications
Garbled orders; fearful guards;
People shouting
Let us out, let us out
And we on the west side shouting back
Let them out, let them out
And you shouting
Let me out, let me out
And it happened
*
Today a row of plastic flowers
Mark the line where the wall stood
Mark the spot where we met.
Someone is watering them I see
Making it more difficult for me
To come and tell you
That the cold war has returned –
For us anyway.

 

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