The chilly rain welcomed early spring.

I went off to pay the electric and water bill.

I would stop for heavy whipping cream.

Man came to the door.

“We need help, four Hondurans and we two Mexicans.

“We got pushed across the river on tubes,

“Hard to do, a one , a fat woman, was heavy to float.”

I go with him and see them shivering, huddled under needle-dripping pines,


But a block from the muddy river.

Cash I offer, and give, for a cab.

I leave to finally pay the electric and water bill.

I buy the heavy whipping cream.

I return to check on the six;

They’re gone.

A refugee shelter worker – I call – says they never arrived.

Deeper into the United States?

Apprehended, sent back across the muddy river?

At home:


We have lights, showers,

And heavy whipping cream atop pumpkin bread.


Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, mid-March 2014


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!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.