He angles his chugging pickup side to side,

Right hand on the wheel,

Left flipping plastic-wrapped newspapers,

Three in the dark he starts,

Ends at eleven in the sun.

He notices, briefly:

The condo apartment cleaner, her arms crossed against the chill,

Hurrying to the complex.

The electrician driving out to a tied-up oil rig,

Off to Brazil- on the tug-pulled giant – after repairs.

A Mexican-hating, kid-hating, neighbor-hating retiree on a porch,

Dawn cigarette and cough.

You’d think the delivery man would sleep the afternoon.

No, practice with his border trio,

Guitar, bass and vocals for him,

Every afternoon, then, clubs, halls, four long nights,

Van travel, border to border, water to water,

Texas to Wisconsin,

Texas to Virginia.

Pay is good, beats the newspaper throwing,

On and on, open eyes sunk deep into an aging face ….

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, mid-February 2013

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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