Plaster Rock, New Brunswick,

Pond hockey capital of the World,

But this is mid-summer ….

I walk east into the sunrise,

The lumber mill stacks send gray white smoke puffs into a blue sky.

Distant potato fields,

No flowers, yet, just green ….

Rocky bottomed rivers ….

Black water, white bubbles within ….

And the deep green forests, deep ….

The First Nation French-speaking flagger,

Out early in safety yellow and orange,

Directing logging and construction trucks ….

She yells, “Bonjour!”

I yell “bonjour” back ….

I’ve arrived,

I am ….

Then, a scream from her in French –

I do not understand a word,

But I sense she means a logging truck – two trailers dipping with fresh cut timber – is

coming fast behind me.

I jump back.

I’ve arrived.

I am.

And I turn onto a quieter road,

She behind, flagging stop and go ….

Fourteen or fifteen hours of standing,

Long mid-summer days ….

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsy, late-December 2017

Author: 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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