Crossing the Border

*Written in response to a Chris Van Allsburg illustration of an old woman climbing into a barrel.

There’s different ways of crossin’ the border. There’s the typical jumping over, swimming cross the deep freezing waters, going suffocated in a secret compartment in a car. There was even going through underground tunnels the Xetas have made, but I decided to take a special approach to my crossing. A small yet large enough wheat barrel.

Now I wasn’t going to roll my way through the mountains and rivers and hope to come out in the USA. I was planning to head to the land of freedom on a fishing boat that one of my grandchildren, Eric, worked on. My nephew was born in the USA ‘cause my three daughters decided to cross over thirty-five years ago. I’m a lil’ late, I know.

“Hurry, we don’t got much time, da boat leaves in a hour,” Erik yelled at me so loud he might as well have used a microphone.

“I’m goin’, I’m goin’,” I yelled as I helped Eric dump out the wheat from the barrel. I glared inside of the barrel and thought of the miserable days and nights I would be spending in that brown barrel. But I had no other choice if I wanted to see my three daughters and ten grandchildren. I had to deal with it. It could be worse, I repeated to myself as my big butt tried squeezing in the barrel. It could be a lot worse, I told myself as half my body was in. No, it can’t, I thought when my entire body squeezed against the wood.

“I’m surprised you didn’t break the barrel,” Eric said in a humorous voice.

“Ha ha ha!” I yelled at him while throwin’ leftover grains at him.

“It’ll be alright, I promise. We’ll be there in no time,” Eric said with a happy voice, yet sad eyes.

“I hope so,” I said as he nailed the top of the barrel on. I was excited yet scared to see what the States had to offer.