On the Swiss side, sawing, pumping, with machines that make noise.
This is where the Swiss Judengässlein ends
tarred road, properly finished, with cobblestones neatly lined up. Then a dirt road continues. In France. Centralistically ruled from distant Paris. Switzerland, on the other hand, is bursting at the seams. The single-family houses reach as close as a hair’s breadth to the state border and there are associated gardens that even extend beyond the border.
The boundary stone is at the edge and at the transition from road to field path. There is a cross carved on the Swiss side and an F on the French side. Although, you can only see that if you go there and bend down. The F in the stone is weathered. Earth has accumulated on this side, grass is growing on it, and the hedge of the Swiss garden that juts into France will soon obscure the F entirely.
Everything that moves here crosses the border, the ants undercut it, the butterflies flutter over it. During the war, border guards or soldiers could no longer shoot fugitives as soon as they crossed the border. Fortunately, today we can just walk over it as often as we like. I’ve been doing this for a number of years.
A man in a blue T-shirt is working in the garden, which extends beyond the border here. I see parts of him, a hand, a piece of blue fabric, belt, light brown trousers, through the branches whose young light green leaves still allow a little insight. Next to it, a little further on Swiss soil, is an undeveloped parcel. Wild-growing rapeseed blooms its strong yellow on it.
The rapeseed from the field on the French side, carried across by the wind.
During the pandemic, the border was again monitored. At that time there was still a house on the lot. It was overgrown with undergrowth and one day when I passed by there were police cars and a coffin
at the house. The police had opened the windows, and the stench of corpses penetrated the street. That very specific smell that is deeply engraved in the memory and that you recognize immediately when it hangs in the air. It affected me. A life ended in this house and no one noticed. A heart has stopped beating here, where the rape sprays its yellow. A heart that had started long ago in a woman’s belly.
(Mimi von Moss)
La peau de mes bras chauffée par le soleil j’arrive sur le haut de la butte
la frontière est la
passage, rencontre et rupture
le clôturé, l’enfermé, le structuré par-ci l’horizon infini dans la brume du matin par-là
devant moi collines, plaines, montagnes, forêts
derriere moi en ligne bien droite
le front des résidences suisses qui regardent – dirait-on-la mer
Certains jardins suisses continue sur territoire français malgré la borne en granit des Alpes
qui impose le contraire
côté suisse un petit panneau signals un passage privé côté français le premier panneau d’interdiction est écrit dans la langue du voisin
le goudron s’arrête net
joliment décoré par un ourlet de pavés
un sentier d’herbes et de cailloux prend son relais.
D’huut vo mine-n-arme isch hot before sunne Ig chume uf d’höchi from the stool
that’s the limit
passage, start and demolition s’ygränzte, s’ygsperrete, s’greglete do
dr endless horizon in the morning shower there
in front of me hills, plains, mountains, forests
behind me on a straight line
d’Schwyz house front with a view – so chunt’s a front – of the sea
Individually Schwyzergärte göh no wyter uf French soil despite em Gränzstei us alpegranit
where’s gägedeil prescribed
On the Schwyzer syte it shows chlys signli uf French ä private property on the French syte isch’s first prohibition sign glychfalls gschribe in d’r sprooch vom Nachbur
uf egg beat isch dr tar z’änd
nicely adorned with a border from us bsetzi
es graas- and steiwägli takes over vo do a d’leitig.
on dr limite
balancer des des
e grossly declared
eh ça va la vache