Berlin Lichterfelde

Sue Vickerman

Behind us, the eastern outskirts.
Beyond us, the fence where the border was
and the evening stretching empty
into the heart of the country.

These hard frosts would sometimes last all day.
I used to count lights in the tower blocks

of that Stalinist housing complex.
There were deer, before the new highway.

That couple walking their dogs
are in the area where the mines were.

Imagine watch-towers along this track.
They'd get out of their patrol cars to chat and urinate,

machine guns pulling on their shoulders.
Imagine hearing the order, seeing another man

run for the border like that dog off its lead
running for the trees. Imagine obeying it.