He was driving to breakfast,

Teens in back, wife in front.

I looked past his face to his belly –

Shirt open – and saw nine jagged red scars.

“I thought you said you’d never had an accident.”

“Yes, until last week.

“The chainsaw bit me.”

No stitches, no antibiotic –

Off for breakfast.

Then, more limbs and branches to cut,

Same chainsaw.

I went to the classroom.

Snow spit.

An empty seat.

“And Doug?”

“Didn’t you hear?

“He was chainsawing, and a limb hit his head;

“He’s dead.”


If I went back to Doug’s town

And asked about him,

I wonder who’d remember forty five years later ….

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, mid-June 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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