Now you can walk through Brandenburg Gate;
You couldn’t last time I was in Berlin.
Once a symbol of a divided city
It`s now a gateway to another style
Of living; a drab reflection of
Its pre-war life.
Unter Den Linden still has its wide street
And central reservation which no-one uses.
From the Gate I walked the uninspiring length
Of office blocks and embassies, alleviated
By the beautiful, but dark church, about half way.
One or two cafes remain as memories
Of a happy time, redolent of things past.
The former palace on the right seems
Strangely new, undamaged,
Until approaching near, I saw
A huge façade draped over
Showing how it used to be .
The building is a museum now,
Of Berlin through the ages.
Great statues rescued from long gone buildings
Impress with magnitude and artistry.
Outside the lindens droop and straggle,
Even in high summer. Few risk their lives
To reach the central seats where once many
Lingered. It was the place to be.
Society beauties and their beaux walked here
Their gaiety and laughter now all gone.
For ever?
As I walk back, I seem to see their ghosts
Unaged and happy still

© A.B. Finlay Ph.D