Call it the United States now,

Maybe always, at least since retirement benefits ….

Those middle-aged to old men who have their morning coffee,

No women at their tables ….


After the sports and weather news, I know the hate and distrust and

ignorance of others, strangers, will smugly and angrily begin and last over

coffee cups ….


These men, white?


Depends on the area, could be Latino or black, and I’d feel the same ….

Go away, get away, turn away ….

Such bitter coffee ….


And today, I neared the table, turned away, looked at the thin moon in the

low east, kept going  ….

To  a distant coffee, the moon higher, dark fading to dawn ….

Newspaper on table, do-nut crumbs ….

TV news: more attacks on the “others,” –


Immigrants, refugees, trans-gender folk ….

Time to leave ….

And down the trail, an owl on a rotted post –

Too much traffic, too many people,

The owl wings away …


Farther on the trail:

Day workers crossing the bridge,

Shoppers, too,

And plasma sellers hundreds ….

I’m not at the table of men,

Not at all ….



Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky late February 2017





Gene Novogrodsky

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky has lived in the Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville for 21 years. He is a co-founder of the Narciso Maritinez Cultural Arts Center Writers Forum in San Benito. He says he has rarely been published; he fears rejection! Instead he loves to read his work in Savory Perks, in the Writers forum, and the Valley International Poetry Festival events. What he enjoys most is reading to several friends, or even strangers in small groups. He is married to his friend and companion, Ruth E. Wagner, who is also a poet and craftsperson. He does write letters to both print and online publications and has been a good friend to Writers of the Rio Grande.

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