H O W A R D   U N I V E R S I T Y

Faces & Voices 5
An Anthology
of Verse and Prose

the Composition
for Honours Class,
Howard University,

E. R. B

Faces & Voices 4


The Wall
By Robtel Neajai Pailey
Hometown: Monrovia, Liberia
Major(s): African Studies & English
E-Mail: rpailey@howard.edu


she’s built this wall
day by day it’s constructed
year by year it’s destructive
to her inner sense of humanity, stability, sanity

the edifice is durable
strongly reserved to fortify her complexity, fear, insecurity
only she can glimpse the hidden crevices
only she can bridge the gap between reality and illusion
only she can alter its state

Eyes bore
Voices demand
Arms reach out
Laughter ensues

she wants to respond
but she remains forever trapped 
in an infinite moment of time
paralyzed by life’s vicissitudes

she’s enraptured by the lateral pull of the wall
as it encloses 
leaving her desperately clinging to something…

she can’t retreat
or can she?

© 2001 Robtel Neajai Pailey

© 2001 Howard University.
(First Published in limited print edition, An Anthology of Verse and Prose, by the Composition for Honours Class, Howard University, Spring 2001. Professor E.R. Braithwaite)
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