No, I didn’t know Miriam Rodriguez ,

Killed in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico,
For trying to find those disappeared daily ….

Usually teens, their mothers wondering, waiting ….

Rodriguez just another  government-recorded number in Mexico’s thousands  dead in a decade of blood  ….

I moved quickly past Rodriguez,  how easy from safety ….
San Fernando for me, a San Fernando close in years:
Sorghum deep red.
Beans so green.
Fields so flat, with low own  hills and the Gulf east,
High hills and blue mountains west.
Slow streams, a slow river.
Green tractors, green combines, black pickups.
Cool stucco homes.
Buses pulsing in the cool station.
Fumes sour sweet.
Bakery screen doors banging,
Empanadas and rolls warm.
Restaurants, plates and drinks …
Fruit carts, melons, pineapple ….
Hardware stores, nails, wire ….
Taco wagons, smoke off coals …..
Corn wagons, steam rises  ….
Tires, gasoline ,,,,
Then, to the narrow, iron bridge to the south,
Green brush on sluggish river banks.
Or, then to the flat to the north ….
Dusty fields stretch ….
Goats nibbling bark,
Horses stretch into watering tubs,
Cattle finds stubble.
Miriam Rodriguez, am I trite at your end?
And since I did not know you,
I rest on the tiles, touch them,
Homes, large and small,
Tree-circled or bare,
Garages and canvas,
Tiled  patios,
Cool tiles,
Swept and washed daily,
Red tiles ….
A summer sun hot,
Crops, trees, flowers droop,
And those tiles, so cool ….
Perhaps you fell to such when shot, bleeding ….
Your warm blood to the square-set red tiles ….
And there you rest,
In your San Fernando,
Even my San Fernando …..
Dare I claim its hold from but two fast hours afar?
And, a teen taken,
A reporter killed,
A soldier wounded,
A store boarded,
A barn burned,
Family packed, gone in night’s dark ….
Miriam Rodriguez, no flight for her ….
Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky , early August 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!


One Response to Cool Tiles

  1. Editor says:

    Thousands upon thousands of deaths, and perhaps worse thousands upon thousands of disappearances; a form of living death, for victims and families alike. All chalked up as “the cost of doing business by the political and economic elite of both Mexico and the United States.

    Who speaks for the dead? Who will raise his voice for the ones that have given up their lives for the most ignoble cause? There are only a few, and one is Eugene Novogrodsky.

    Poetry may be the last refuge. What miracle seed to sprout and blooms even from the blood red muck of the killing fields.

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