Writers Abroad Magazine 6 May 2017 - Page 13

WRITERS ABROAD MAGAZINE: THE THIRD SPACE BARBED BOUNDARY BY DIANNE ASCROFT Our land marches* his He tramps his scraggy ground Inspecting bald, waiting earth I survey mine, counting the cost of fertiliser We skirt the barbed boundary between us No look or word exchanged A fox slips under the bottom wire, hunting mice Our land marches his He trudges up the steep hill Appraising sleek, sated cattle I count mine, relieved none have strayed The barbed boundary gleams, sun struck Setting a blinding wall between us A deer leaps over the top wire, into rushes. Our land marches his He squelches through boggy ground Herding hungry cattle home I mirror him, driving mine to their byre The barbed boundary remains, unbending Fortifying our differences. Geese fly overhead, casting shadows across it. *Marches – used colloquially in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland ‘marches’ means ‘borders’ or ‘adjoins’. 12 | MAY 2017