“…Mexico, the State of San Luis Potosi, like most, that mix of Mexico now, rural and
…and the teen in a mountain town says, “We know the Zetas. We know who they are. They
walk right past us.” And that is all he says.
…and in the capital’s plaza, farmers rail against the state government. “No seeds, no
roads, poor schools, and when there are no beans and corn, then they will care!” Dark
farmers’ familes listen. But briefcase carrying light-skin bankers and lawyers walk
past, and so do the tourists, there for dance, art, music.
…Mexico, doble la belleza, doble la triesteza, in this case from la frontera con los
Estados Unidos into San Luis Potosi, doble la belleza, doble la triesteza ….
…three singers, accordion, bass and guitar, far from the plaza, sing and play,
Triestes Recurdos and Paso del Norte, so sad the words, going, always going, the three
from farms near the capital, their voices cry, passersby stop and cry ….”
– Gene Novogrodsky
The open coffin under soft yellow light,
A candle nearby.
Outside, a chair circle on the stone street
Leading up and north, or, down and south ….
Men in ranch jackets and hats,
Women and children under blankets,
Sunsets’ white orange pink started, gone.
The night, its cold, soon settled ….
Hours of circle,
Roosters chorus, dogs join.
To the east,
Jupiter’s easy white,
Venus’ hard white.
The mountain freight’s whistle –
In the valley between hills and rocks,
And death within ….
A man leaves, starts a pickup,
And another arrives, boots click.
The women pull blankets tighter
Over themselves and the sleeping children.
And death within.
Late morning, the vaquero bites off a hamburger quarter.
She, looking into the Sunday market, nibbles hers.
“The hamburger, it reminds me,” he says.
“After three years of construction near Houston, I went to Virginia, near Washington.
“I lived in a stable, trained and took care of jumpers.
“A woman in her 70s won first place.
“She was very happy, no falls, a winner, no injuries to her or the horse.
“Then, she gave me a hamburger, my tip.
“Only to me, not my two brothers.”
The vaquero finishes his hamburger.
She is slower.
Houston and Virgina stories, she’s heard them all, over and over, from her brothers,
Some, like her vaquero, back ….
South they ring,
West they ring,
A touch north they ring,
The Sierra Madre Oriental’s blue humps,
A light blue,
Even a gray blue,
Dark brown closer,
Blue distant ….
Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, mid-July 2012
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!