The Border

Finding the border was easy.

Crossing it wasn't.
National flags greeted our approach.
It was where the map said it would be.
It was where the road stopped.

Radar was a timely sign that we were there;
painted olive-green to match the surroundings
scanning in the direction they came from last time
with their surprise attack.

An absence of vegetation followed;
concrete watchtowers with slits for eyes
appeared on barren hills amid curls of razor wire
barring the way to the minefields.

In the last village before the border
at a small round table outside a bar
three men sip coffee from small cups;
smoke cigarettes;
exchange sporadic remarks
concerning a lottery ticket
- you couldn't call it a conversation.

At the first hint of rain they move under cover.

It's the same on the other side.

They have their border paraphernalia too.

Here is an old mirror. This crack
from top to bottom
is no man's land.