The missionaries exalt.
Now they arrive with Christ, God, and used clothing
Up into the high mountains – misty chills, thatched
huts, twisted roads—
Down to the shore—ripping waves, gutted sharks,
An endless stream, mountain kids, coastal kids,
swarming when the cross-marked vans roll in—
fingers grabbing clothes, Bibles, bargain-store bread
then turning to birdwatchers in creased shorts,
families pointing video cameras out SUV windows—
fish rot and sea air,
and the sweating, panting, fulfilled missionaries…
Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky is an instructor at the University of Texas Brownsville/Texas Southmost College.