Two of Me

I don’t turn from traffic and piss next to a Dumpster.

I don’t try car doors –

And if they open, grab loose change, CDs, purses.

I don’t hope to snatch a distracted shopper’s purse –

In or out of the store, convenience or super.

I don’t walk into restaurants, near tables of two or four,

And extend my filthy hand – hoping that my grime, sweat and stench will work as a pay-off

To be rid of me before I test more car doors.

I don’t.

He does.


I do wheel out the green trash bin,

Not too far into the street.

I do vote.

I do pay taxes.

I sweep the street in front of the house.

I keep night noise low.

He doesn’t.

I do.

And when I do,

I know how boringly orderly I am,

Such a well-behaved social member:

So cooperative.

So regular.

And I know the routines are not enough.

Civil, yes, but ….

I know, I know.

He doesn’t, doesn’t care to.

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, mid November 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!


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