Mr President, by Gil Hoy

There is many
a living thing 

That doesn’t love
a wall. 

Like hunters, rabbits
and yelping dogs 

Like the pine trees
and apple orchards 

Like human beings–
Who aren’t cows– 

And quirky elves don’t
like them much either. 

The frozen-ground-
swells beneath can crack 

Even the strongest stone.
And there are too many gaps 

Between the stones
nonetheless. You can  

Rub your fingers rough
and raw by placing
and replacing 

The fallen stones.
Mr. President: 

I see you walking in the darkness.

An old, rough savage-stone 

 Firmly grasped in each
armed hand.  

Like an old hypothermic man
who is lost 

and cannot find his way

Like your crotchety, stubborn
neighbor beyond the hill.

Mr. President:

 Spring is coming.
Let’s walk the lines, 

Remove the walls
separating pines
and trees bearing fruit.

Mr. President:
Forget your father

He was so very wrong. 

Good walls, like selfish men,
make bad neighbors.  


Gil Hoy is a Boston poet and semi-retired trial lawyer who studied poetry at Boston University under Professors Costello and Pinsky through its Evergreen program. Hoy previously received a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as a Brookline, Massachusetts Selectman for four terms. Hoy’s poetry has appeared most recently in Chiron Review, The New Verse News, Ariel Chart, Social Justice Poetry, Poetry24, Right Hand Pointing/One Sentence Poems, I am not a silent poet, The Potomac, Clark Street Review and the penmen review.

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