You go to a family birthday.

Then, you leave and take words and memories,

Like the long-dead uncle.

He hated school, so Grandfather tied him into the wagon bed,

Whipped the horse and down the road they went to the one-room school.

Family Hours

He untied the uncle, carried him into the school and dropped him near the wood stove.

Uncle filled in as the right fielder to give a team nine players.

Three outs and the players ran to bat.

Uncle wasn’t with them.

He’d fallen asleep in the outfield’s soft grass, a hayfield more than a

baseball diamond.

Uncle passed out advice:

“Just because you f—– her, it doesn’t mean you have to marry her.”

Experienced he was.

The birthday party distanced ….

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, late October 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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