The road bends down.

I’m looking for early roadside apples in ditches.

I find several.

I bite into a yellow one.


It’s almost ready and full taste.

More bites, and I throw the core away – into piled branches and leaves.

The road flattens under a birch and maple cover.

She’s at the road bottom.

She’s crouched in a ditch.

She’s focused on a white web-building spider,

And a green pod about to burst and scatter white seeds.
I stop.

I never crouched in roadside ditches, one with the universe.

So natural for her.

My dead uncle did the same.

My restlessness, for what?

She stands and buttons her jacket, cool under the sun-blocking trees,

Even in late-summer’s glow.


“Here, I’m out of the ditch.

“Let’s talk,” she says.

I don’t know what to say.

I stare at her pale throat, lined face, deep eyes.

But I think I should look down at the spider and pod.


She does.

I do.

We’re silent.


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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