Beyond the River's Edge

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

There is a place beyond the river’s edge where once young children played. A place that beckoned with its serenity and its beguiling charm.

BEYOND THE RIVER’S EDGE

By Al Garcia

There is a place beyond the river’s edge where once young children played.  A place that beckoned with its serenity and its beguiling charm.  It was natural, open and free.  This was the edge of the Rio Grande that curved and turned and twisted its way along the fertile land that touched the river’s edge. 

A river of promise and of tragedy.  A boundary between two worlds, and a golden gate to dreams and dreamers.  The allure of its beauty astounding to the eyes and to the soul.It’s naturalness and grandeur never failing to overwhelm the simple heart.  This was the majesty of the Rio Grande where young children played along the river’s edge, and where heroic men and resilient and determined women braved the flowing currents to see the green, green valley that laid beyond the river’s edge.

This was my valley.  This was my home.  This was where my roots were set and where my heart began to beat – in the valley by the Rio Grande.

My heritage explains the color of my skin.  My legacy clarifies the passion I have within.  I was born as free as the raging winds that blow across the open fields.  I was born with the hunger to survive and to persevere.  My stock was of dreamers and of visionaries who saw beyond the river’s edge.  And like my parents and my ancestors I too began to dream.

It wasn’t easy to be demeaned and used and even abused in the lands that had once belonged to us, simply because of the color of our skin or the birthplace of our ancestors.  It wasn’t easy to turn the other cheek and bend our backs and reap the harvest from fields that held our blood and sweat.  It wasn’t easy to be an American in that time when I grew up when black and brown and yellow and red were species inferior, subservient and subordinate to the Americans whose ancestors had crossed an ocean and not just walked across a river to find their dream.

It wasn’t easy in the early days growing up in the valley by the Rio Grande.  We had to know our place and we had to bow and scape to make it through each day.  But I still had my heritage and my legacy, and I continued to dream.  Inside of me there always lurked the spark and the fire of those that had dreamed even before I came to be. 

Oh, how time has changed the valley along the river’s edge.  A lifetime has gone by and dreams have been lived and new horizons have emerged.  Yet, after all the struggles and scuffles that we have sustained and endured over decades and generations, the malevolence of the past threatens the progress that we’ve made.  And I only sense and hear the silence of the past.  And it saddens me and dismays me at how quickly and how quietly we begin to conform again.

Imagine our vista of the river’s edge obstructed by a barrier or a wall.  No longer natural, open and free as it was meant to be.  Imagine the river’s edge without the laughter and the joy of children playing.  Imagine the death of dreams and the rebirth of partition and division.  The shadows of our past loom before us.  Unfortunately, too many do not recall the darkness of those days or the cruelty of those times. 

I only hope that our children will continue to see beyond the river’s edge and not experience again the hardship and adversity that once defined our lives along the river’s edge.


Submitted: May 22, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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