Advice from those who keep their noses clean:

“Stay well between the ditches.”

I remember the words, and have sheep-like internalized them –

While I walk on the street’s elevated hump,
Mars, Saturn, the moon and Venus bright in a clear sky.

Always the middle.
No veering.

The properties:

Loaded pistols near beds.

Short-chained barking and leaping dogs.

Yellow security lights and eye-open cameras.

Car alarms, ready to scream, blinking red dashboard lights warning.

The owners and renters,

So wise, so secure, so afraid, so edgy, so protective.

I briefly want to step to the sides,

Walk on sidewalks by lawns.

Throw peace over fences, onto lawns, into houses.

No, fear’s umbrella is wide open.

I walk into dawn,

Straight down the middle of the street.

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, late April 2014

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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