Why does the all-night baker decide to make ginger pigs (marranitos)
Early one morning, ginger men (hombres de jengibre) the next?
His choice, his alone,
Deep in the hot bakery, the back wall clock at three?
Ingredients, no, there are plenty.
Forms, no, there are both: pigs and men.
Maybe extra work?
The pigs lack raisin eyes.
The ginger men need raisin eyes and mouths.
The pigs, more pigs then men this year,
Are the last baking of the night that began at nine,
Before the baker turns off the oven,
Dims the lights,
Kills the ineffectual fans,
Hangs up his flour-white dusted cap,
Rinses his flour-covered arms,
Removes plastic gloves,
And walks out into the night heat,
The pigs inside, cooling on racks in the dark,
Sometimes the men, their eyes and mouths black..
Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, early April 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!