Crossing the Line

Two years ago I crossed the iron curtain from west to east, on the old Salt Road. Two weeks ago I crossed back. The political spray paint art has been painted over now, and the concrete border posts have been taken away and, no doubt, smashed up into road gravel. For an hour I wandered in the sun and the grass with the birds and the grasshopper nymphs, marveling that all that division led, in the end, only to what had been there before it began. I ate wild cherries from a tree growing along the East German guard path, and left the last tiny chunks of concrete to the ants, who were getting a bit of heat from them. For a souvenir, I bring you this found moment: two kinds of East German energy — old and new.

East Meets West at Point Alpha

And this time I found my way home. I have become a Trabant, with an Ossie in my head with both hands on the wheel, and the car puffing blue smoke like, well, not like Brecht’s cigar maybe, but at least like a Pall Mall, eh.


I feel like John Le Carré.


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