Christmas Day.

She cries.

The Atlantic wind dries tears.

Then she cries again.

“So boring here,” she says.

“All my family is in Puebla, having Christmas.”

 

The wind dries.

She cries.

“I paid more than two thousands dollars to get to the Arizona border

From Puebla, and then after 20 days, four more days here to the Atlantic.

An uncle attacked me, and I left his house.

A woman found me this house cleaning job, and I’ve had it ten years.”

The wind dries anew.

She cries.

“I have a son in Mexico, and two others there, too.

They were born here.

I sent them to my mother and father.

Their father was deported.”

The wind rips.

She cries.

“I’m lucky, never deported.

And now I’m learning some English, and how to write in Spanish.”

The crying stops.

She walks faster.

“My exercise, no houses to clean on Christmas.

Yes, I went to work at six, no school, my parents needed money.

I cleaned houses in Puebla, too.

My brothers and sisters, they went to school.

They work in Puebla.

Really, it’s no so bad for me here, but soon I’ll go back for good.”

Then, the crying resumes

The wind stills.

The tears harden.

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Gene Novogrodsky

Eugene "Gene" Novogrodsky, a Brownsville resident for nearly three decades, writes North American border slices, from eastern Canada to central Mexico, and in between. He is one of the founders of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Writers Forum in San Benito. He sometimes participates with the informal Resaca Writers Group in Brownsville. He prefers, however, to read to two or three attentive listeners - when asked!

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