why do low walls fascinate?
why do they always seduce your attention
and lure you with their teasing challenge?
but they always do, and always have,
when I see a low wall, I just have to
climb up and walk along it,
there’s simply no other option,
I’m helpless against its invitation,
so you climb and you teeter along its length, extending
your arms at either side like an agile tightrope-walker,
pretending it’s scary, pretending you’re about to fall
and plummet to some terrible mangling doom,
even though its barely knee-high from the street,
the tops of some low walls, like the ornamental
walls around municipal flowerbeds, are raised into a
central ridge which makes them even more precarious,
and hence more of a challenge to your nimble skills,
some have hazardous mossy patches or even ivy
growing across them which you must carefully navigate...
until you finally reach the end of the wall, and
have to descend down to dull pavement-level again,
until the next wall...
(Paycock Press, Richard Peabody)
(USA – December 2021)