She smiles.
Small mouth.
Silver braces marked with red hearts.
Small inconvenience:
Her fifteen-mile commute from her South Texas border home,

North to many acres and ten dogs,
Some mild, some fierce
Clean their pens, walk them, feed and water them,
Brush them, pamper them.
So easy, then fifteen miles back,
Twice a week, and more when summer settles ….

That smile, the decorated braces ….

What can be difficult?

Dog crap?

Dog bites?

Dog growls?

Dog leaps?

After living halfway between Matamoros and Victoria, Tamaulipas,

In Mexico’s blood-spilled northeast,

South Texas’ groomed dogs, even when bravo,

Are worth many smiles ….

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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