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Saturday, January 25, 2014


by Robert Farmer

Image by RachelO at

Fighting a McDonald’s in Queens for the Right to Sit. And Sit. And Sit: For the past several months, a number of elderly Korean patrons and this McDonald’s they frequent have been battling over the benches inside. --NY Times, January 14, 2014

McFish sandwiches are always delayed,
demanding my observation of you old men
drinking endless coffee from paper cups,
polluting the place with the thick accents of age and origin.
You demean the décor in this room designed for delight
of children and of colorfully-haired teens
with trinket-pierced flesh.

We’ve designated appropriate places for you, don’t you know:
Try cheap diner counters
where you may communicate over watery soup,
or benches fronting backcountry stores
where you may contemplate red dust.
Maybe seedy city bars
with their atmosphere of long-spilt beer.
Perhaps even hospital corridors
where you sit with bewilderment across your faces.

But not here!
I will ignore you until my McFish arrives.
Then I will flee before your contamination.

Robert Farmer is 83 and lives in Cleveland where he sits around in Starbucks and the YMCA.