What begins like war,
like warden and warning,
like weapons, wolves, and woe?
It cost one hundred million marks,
lasted twenty-eight years, two months
and twenty-eight days, wandered
one hundred fifty-six kilometres
through Berlin and its outskirts,
with one hundred eighty-six watch towers
and a death strip, with mine fields and
border police and orders — shoot to kill.
A church was demolished to ensure a clear view.