A mild November night,

With the date important:

November 19, 2014.

Brownsville, Texas,

I know that tomorrow – across the border –

Millions of Mexicans, dressed in mourners’ black,

Will scream against their government’s corruption and murders –

And not all the voices will settle for words –

Violence sits ready.

With Mexico occupying every other thought,

I look up and see a tall black man.

He’s guiding a mental facility patient on a pre-sleep outside walk.

The patient, head bloated, slurs unintelligible words.

I ask the gentle caregiver where he’s from.

“St. Louis.”

I ask if he knows Ferguson, Missouri,

Where soon residents and the nation and world will soon learn if a grand jury

Will indict the white policeman who killed black Michael Brown.

“I do, and what’s more Michael Brown was my friend.”

Stunned I am.

Mexico tomorrow, Missouri soon.

Violence in the air ….

I say good night to the patient and caregiver, and walk off.

Soft rain wafts.

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, late November 2014

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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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