(recent snapshot)

Eddy Gober was one of the four middle-aged gringos mentioned in "Four Gringos and a Sore Toe." He's a former Kentuckian who grew up in an impoverished hollow in the mountains. This is Eddy's first trip outside the U. S., so I've been asking him how he feels about the things he sees here. At breakfast on the morning my friends leave, after being at Yerba Buena for four days, Eddy presents me with the following poem filled with images from Yerba Buena and the marketplace in nearby Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan:

Yerba Buena
by Eddy Gober

It's wintertime, a chilling mist
Is falling silently
The clouds obscure all beauty now
A mile above the sea

I came south to get some rest
And lie out in the sun
I wanted pictures I could show
When my trip was done

But as I moaned I saw a lass
Dressed in some tattered clothes
And as she walked I saw the mud
squish up between her toes

As she passed by, I forced a smile
A smile she did not see
But on her back her baby brother
Smiled right back at me

The marketplace was busy now
The sun burned through the mist
While others bartered, bought and sold
A teenage couple kissed

I'd never seen the sky so blue
Or clouds that stood so still
Where flowers bloom all winter long
In yards carved from a hill

TortillerĂ­a was a sign
I'd never seen before
They made tortillas while I watched
Through the open door

Fifty people stood in line
They blocked the narrow street
It seems tortillas are a must
With every meal they eat

Now the children laughed and played
And begged for little treats
Sometimes parents purchased them
A fruit or something sweet

I watched a kid unwrap his sweet
His face lit up with glee
Then without a word he smiled
And shared his treat with me

A lady stood beside the road
Her burro lay there dead
The burden that the beast had borne
Now rested on her head

But life goes on though sometime sad
Their blood runs brave and free
Their hurt is mine, their laughter too
My roots are Cherokee

Now my shoes were muddy too
As I stood on the path
I realized these are the things
A man can't photograph

Life and love and sadness too
Though written in the sand
Are born and die and yet live on
In Yerba Buena land

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