Saturday, February 13, 2010

Defining the border

Gene Keller, the speaker at today's El Paso Writers' League meeting, gave us a 15-minute writing exercise to "define the border." Since El Paso is flush against the U.S. Mexican border, that's the one he meant and the one we wrote about. Here is my effort:

The border is a line we've agreed upon—a river, a wall, a treaty. Land that once was theirs but now is ours, and they had better not show up without their papers.

It's a line between us and them—our language and theirs. Our money and their drugs; our guns and their crime. It's a line we cross every day, enjoying the benefits of each others' culture. It's a line that once kept shifting but now is fixed in the ground. It's a line that is both distinct and blurred.

4 comments:

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

You’re description is very good. Wouldn’t it be nice if some day those borders are blurred because the crime element no longer exists and both sides are able to respect the laws of the land on either side?

Bob Sanchez said...

Yes, it would. Of course we have a firm border with Canada and not such a major crime problem. Humans just seem to love borders, from lot lines to national lines. We always have to know what's ours, don't we?

arlee bird said...

That border makes for some great literary territory.

Ruth D~ said...

We love borders, and we love categories, too.