2 Poems by Gene Goldfarb

The Good Bus

Who are the people who compare me to a steam roller?
I don’t ask anyone to throw their victims under me.
Who calls me, in effect, the grim reaper by cutting off
the life expectancy of someone who got hit by me?
I’m not looking to hurt anyone, nor to cause them to
suffer a slow, bumpy ride, or to forget their bags.

Check under my chassis, and if I’m properly serviced
and cleaned, you will get a decent responsible ride
by a machine that is only interested in giving a good
and necessary service to the public for a fair price.

Not going to find any remnants of body parts.
I do my job and go back to the garage for maintenance,
hosed down, cleaned, whatever. People will call me
and my ilk, ‘dirty bus, smelly bus, bumpy ride,’ and
I was only going to pick up some poor souls on one street
and deposit them at another about ten or twenty
blocks away. Who even says anything to me or asks
‘by your leave’ or says ‘thank you? They just get off
with their bags and move on. But me, they always talk
of as guilty of snuffing one who deserved a better fate
than being thrown under the (you know who).

And please don’t malign my sister the Crosstown Bus,
it’s not her fault, she’s had a hard life in traffic, get it?
Traffic, baby. Heavy traffic.

Language of the Poor

We so poor, beggars
dropped coins at our door
thieves would not touch,
our floor the earth
gave us warmth,
we could not afford
words to describe our affliction.

In lieu of dear word sounds
our bodies assumed
the silent adornment
of wink, nod, beckon and wave
as these were free.

On market days
we treated ourselves,
to hearing the yell of offerings
our own adjectives missing,
to the sight the smell of food
snatched and roughly bagged,
coins jumping like giddy fish
from purse to hand.

Yes, so poor
we could not afford names
while pronouns we rented
for occasions of moment,
my mother once pointed
me out with a big laugh
and shouted “Him!”
too proud to use a verb
a neighbor had lent her.

See .pdf for original line breaks: 2 Poems by Gene Goldfarb


Gene Goldfarb now lives in New York City. He writes both poetry and prose. His poetry has appeared in the very small press, among these: Black Fox, Sheila-Na-Gig, Trouvaillie, The Daily Drunk, Green Briar and elsewhere.
Twitter: @gene3624

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Photo by Weston MacKinnon on Unsplash