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The Schekbenjel Goes for a Ride: Mennonite Settlements, Chihuahua, Late 1980s




I had me two girlfriends once. In different Darps but still close enough

to walk. I'd visit one Sunday after church, then I'd visit the other one

Sunday after supper. After I started working, just a Schekbenjel, but still

making some dough, I saved up. Bought me a motorbike. Thought I was

hot stuff cruisin' in and out of the Darps. I could go to a bunch of them

now since I wasn't just walkin'. The bike was small but I was real

fast. Kicking up dust like nobody's business. One Sunday, I'd blown

off both of my girlfriends because I wanted to ride around. Feel some

real power. So I drove way out to this Darp I'd never been to before.

Out in the middle of nowhere, but I could already tell they liked

to party. Pick–up trucks parked all over the yard. And the music was

pumpin' real loud. A bunch of boys and girls runnin' around. All these

smokje M'jalles. I mean real nice lookin'. So I slowed down to take

it all in. These tough lookin' bros were hollerin' and wavin' their beer

cans around. Yellin' for me to gun it. So I did. Tore it up to the end

of the road and whipped back into their driveway. Doin' ninety easy.

Then ripped some donuts into the gravel. All the girls were screamin'

and laughin'. So I burnt some more rubber. Laid it out real thick 'til

some dudes jumped out of a truck cab and started slappin' me

on the back sayin' bro, that's rad come drink with us. I was about to

take my helmet off and grab a cold one, but then I saw both

my girlfriends sittin' on a picnic table. Carryin' on like they was

best friends. Painted and pressed up against some ugly ass cowboys.

About the Author

Abigail  Carl-Klassen

Abigail Carl-Klassen grew up in Seminole, Texas. She has done ethnopoetic work with migrant workers, Old Colony Mennonite communities in Mexico and Texas, social workers, homeless communities, immigrant communities along the U.S.-Mexico border and most recently, with Central American migrants and asylum seekers in Mexico. Her work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Catapult, Cimarron Review, Willow Springs, Guernica, Aster(ix) and Kweli, among others. She is a staff writer for Poets Reading the News and her chapbook Shelter Management is now available from dancing girl press. She earned an MFA from the University of Texas El Paso’s Bilingual Creative Writing Program and taught at El Paso Community College and the University of Texas El Paso.