Bridge Slices

Two shaggy Dobermans run into the oncoming traffic from Mexico – red matted fur.

Three thin dancers from Mexico City walk into the United States – light they are.

A dark woman chases after the dogs, yelling for them to come back; they don’t.

The dark woman, out of a Veracruz ejido, and later off farm work in Washington State, gives up.

She hops out of traffic and onto the sidewalk – the dancers are shocked.

She announces, “The dogs will be ok. They live with me under the bridge. I live on a mattress under the bridge.”

The dancers, anxious to get into the United States, are now fidgeting, staring, then looking away.

I tell them, “Come on! You’re from Mexico City. Thousands like her live there, too.”

“You’re right,” the youngest dancer says.

We start to give the woman-from-under-the-bridge-who-lives-with-her-dogs-near-her-mattress money, coins and bills.

She hops back into traffic.

“Come on under the bridge, come see my mattress!” she invites the now-backed-up-pedestrian-line.

Who’s tempted?

Who’s curious?

Who thinks a river gang will jump him or her when visiting the woman-from-under-the-bridge-who-lives-with-her-dogs-near-her-mattress?

Where are the dogs?

Where will the eloquent dancers dance, shop, stay?

The pedestrians file into the United States, while under the bridge, Mexican side, is hard to see, very hard ….

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, late October 2012

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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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