Sunday, August 01, 2021

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 23 -- Cross THE River

 [photo from Wikipedia - Park on the Rio Grande] 
In the late 50's, early 60's, I lived in a house on the 
right and rode my Vespa Motorscooter along the river 
 - - - - 
 "I am twenty, drifting in la chalupa, the blue boat painted with roses, white lilies . . . there was still the little boat, the chalupa you built once, slowly, in the yard, after school." Little Boat by Jean Valentine - 1934-2020 

  - - - - 

 The Little Boat 

Tuesday morning the boat was not crowded  

Though it would comfortably hold twelve 

It only had this little Mexican 

woman and a man with a big straw hat 

The woman was carrying grocery bags 

She stopped, kissed the ground, "U.S.A." 

She went in the general store, had coffee 

The man seemed to be seasonal, he left.

While the boat left and came back, woman shopped 

A family of five got on the boat and 

the father pulled the rope around, around 

Another couple boarded, he pulled not 

Out of sight they went, probably to homes 

But the boat was loaded when coming back 

Standing room only for the men. They came  

for TexMex day, BOGO, Buy One Get one 

Those were the days, no Customs Agents here 

No Border Patrol either, all that was 

done at the park gate by officials there 

We came, went, crossing on the Little Boat 

 - - - - 

 - Poem Copyright, Jimmiehov 2021, All Rights Reserved 

 - I am also now linking this again, this time with Magaly, at The Writer's Pantry #81, .  And I am posting it there, LATE AGAIN.

 - I made a couple of changes and I'm linking it again on May 16, 2021, with Rosemary in The Writer's Pantry # 70, 

 - I am linked with NaPoWriMo, National Poem Writing MonthDay 23,

 -  There our challenge at the NaPoWriMo was "to write a poem that responds, in some way, to another. "  I chose the poem above by Jean Valentine, Little Boat.  It reminded me of the old days, 1970's when the Big Bend National Park was open to the fold from Mexico and we were free to go to Mexico to shop for Hispanic items that we could not get here.  Many visited relatives who were still living in Mexico.   

The small boat that went across the Rio Grande River was attached to a rope and above was the other side of the rope, to be pulled one way or the other to propel the boat across the river.  

 - I am attempting to write at least one poem a day for the National Poem Writing Month.  Today is Day 23 of the 30, you can see my progress here, .

 - - - 

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At Saturday, April 24, 2021 9:22:00 AM, Blogger Helen said...

Yes, times have changed .. we realize it acutely as we age. I enjoyed your poetic remembrance.

At Sunday, May 16, 2021 1:32:00 AM, Blogger Kim M. Russell said...

I don’t know how I missed this poem the first time around, Jim, but in the thick of NaPoWriMo, it happens. I had never read Jean Valentine’s ‘Boat’ before and I like your nostalgic response to it, and the explanation about the small boat that crossed the Rio Grande. I especially love that it is a narrative poem, with characters and a hinted back story. I would love to know what happened to the little Mexican woman and the man in the hat.

At Sunday, May 16, 2021 2:27:00 AM, Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

A lovely reminiscence, beautifully told – bitter-sweet in the light of later developments.

At Sunday, May 16, 2021 6:22:00 AM, Blogger Old Egg said...

What we must accept is that there will be changes many times as we work our way through life. Some will be good and some bad.

At Sunday, May 16, 2021 6:52:00 AM, Blogger Ron. said...

borders, schmorders, I say.

At Sunday, May 16, 2021 9:27:00 AM, Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you for this narrative of a much better, simpler time. drugs and guns and politicians changed all that, i supposed.
thank you for pointing me to jean valentine's beautiful & poignant poem.

At Sunday, May 16, 2021 11:01:00 AM, Blogger Magaly Guerrero said...

What an interesting glimpse...

At Sunday, May 16, 2021 11:49:00 AM, Blogger Susie Clevenger said...

Change, too often it isn't pretty.

At Sunday, May 16, 2021 4:21:00 PM, Blogger Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

It is hard to imagine a time when the crossing could have been done so freely--such a poignant piece

At Wednesday, May 19, 2021 3:58:00 AM, Blogger rudraprayaga said...

Fictitious verse. Nice. Simple and catching.

At Sunday, August 01, 2021 11:12:00 PM, Blogger colleen said...

Sweet and nostalgic of simpler times. I can see it all in my mind.

At Monday, August 02, 2021 1:25:00 AM, Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

A sweeter, happier, friendlier time. I like rivers, and messing about on boats; wish I'd done more of it, but glad I've done some.

At Monday, August 02, 2021 10:50:00 AM, Blogger dsnake1 said...

i loved all the little details you put in the poem.
So i assumed, no passports were stamped? :)
those were certainly much simpler times.

At Tuesday, August 03, 2021 6:28:00 PM, Blogger Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I imagine the birds laughing at us humans for our insistence on making borders all over planet Earth. When did a bird ever stop anywhere for border control officers?

At Wednesday, August 04, 2021 8:10:00 AM, Blogger Jack R. said...

Really enjoy the feeling of this poem. Thank you.

At Wednesday, August 04, 2021 10:20:00 AM, Blogger Rommy said...

The difference between past and present is starkly delineated here.

At Wednesday, August 04, 2021 10:31:00 PM, Blogger Magaly Guerrero said...

I wonder if times like this will ever be possible again. First the economy and now COVID (plus the economy) has changed things so much. Maybe our children's children will get to see better things.

At Thursday, August 12, 2021 4:10:00 AM, Blogger rudraprayaga said...

I liked the poem. Had the world been one village with no boarder marks,how beautiful the life here would have been.


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