Eileen Thalenberg


The borders are constantly changing
and the people waiting at them change too,
some come on foot, some by car, by horse
or chariot, no matter the decade or century,
one day a door, the next – a wall, without warning
and the gate won’t open even though the lock is rusted.
How tediously familiar the scene
on railway platforms, breathless jostling, panting
for a place when train doors open
and then on to other borders.
In the towns behind them
the sound of gunfire,
amid the shooting a voice is heard:
“We can’t tell who the enemy is,
they look like us.”


Eileen Thalenberg is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, poet and literary translator.
She is fluent in seven languages and has translated prose, poetry and plays which have been
published and performed.