“Coke in Amazonia”
The farms swam quietly past
our bus window
surrendering to a rainforest
of fig and sandpaper trees
on an endless tongue of red soil
and green-brown darkness,
our deepening silence broken
when we reached a fork
and a large old sign for Coke
and our growing gloom
pierced by cheers
of yay, yay, yay
as if returning home
and a sweet bitty in the back
“I’d like to teach the world
to sing…” as if she’d woken
from a coma of twenty years
expecting the stars to have
behaved and stayed exactly
where they’d been before.
Without a jacket he leaves the library,
his cover a dull hue of green perhaps,
a pebble finish, nothing to bring notice.
His only designation
a few words on his spine, a surname,
he’s more between covers than undercover.
The old in town know him or of him,
the young stay away, jeer him in the streets
and throw rocks, hoping he will leave.
History had been unkind to him,
a father who threw him into the fire,
the man’s poor wife who rescued him.
But he would outlive them all
without the indignity of peer vouchers,
awards, appearances, or groveling.
Gene Goldfarb was a hearing officer over 30 years. He now does volunteer work. His poems have appeared in Bitterroot (defunct), more recently on WRHU FM (Calliope’s Corner) in 2008, in 2011 Poetry Ark, and in Cliterature (Fall 2013). Currently, his work is scheduled to appear in upcoming issues of Empty Sink (December 2013) and A Narrow Fellow (April 2014).