Lace Stone Walls

Mud and clay caked
in cold crevices of
their scraped hands—

two bending men placing
a stone in the hollow
of two stones, one rock

on two rocks the length
of the wall—there’s strength
in movement. Lace wall

or farmers’, they leveled
with the land, building wide
as stone to stone allowed;

lace walls for hilltops,
leaving uneven spaces,
holes for the wind—

no art, just the ordinary
lifting up of what’s
deepest, stiles to climb—

chattered slate of sky
through a loose knit
of weathered stone.

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