I used to walk into yards:
On treed bluffs above the Mississippi in Missouri,
On grassy prairies above the Mississippi in Illinois,
In soaked rice fields, levee-protected, near the Mississippi in Arkansas,
On beet-planted plains bordering the Red in North Dakota.
"Some water, please?"
"Sure, help yourself."
Not as certain, not as confident now:
The loaded rifles, shotguns, pistols.
The brown pit bulls on rusted chains.
By Eugene "Gene" Novogrodsky, mid-April 2013
Eugene "Gene" Novogrodsky, a founding member of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Writers Forum in San Benito, has been writing for more than 10 years. Writing and sharing with others has humbled him and reduced his sense of self-importance, while nudging him to sharpen his observations and ideas. He lived in Brownsville, where he is a part-time instructor in various reading, writing, and conversation programs at the University of Texas at Brownsville / Texas' South-most college. For more information about National Poetry Month in San Antonio, go to npmsa.com