The sky was a dingy-gray
Similar to the facades along the street,
Dulling the pedestrians' anticipated mirth.
A glimmer of sunlight shown
Through, now and again, drawing
Attention to the window displays:
Clothing separates and getups, shoes,
Eyewear, and flagship accessories.
Adjacent to every other store, or so,
Was a restaurant that would welcome
Such fashion-conscious clientèle,
Later in the evening.
However, for this afternoon,
The community of rivaling eateries
Set up shop, stalls in front of the curb,
Facing away from the storefronts.
Wooden police barriers prevented
Cars thruway along the half mile,
Multi-block party welcoming
The casual gastronomic passerby.
The restaurateurs' versions of street food
And scaled down appetizers from
Happy hour menus were offered
By enthusiastic waitstaff and servers
Glad that they could work a double,
Earning a cash only bonus for the effort.
Delectables and deserts were available
For all shapes and waistband sizes,
For those who were eager to exercise
The monetary palm press.
If willing to wait in a long line to sample
Champagne and artisanal beer,
The properly ripened and fermented
Ages were stamped with a beverage
Seal of approval.
The experienced consumers methodically
Paced themselves between exercises,
While others, immoderately rushed
To the next exercise with the shortest
Line, spending less thriftily.
Blaring beats at each block corner,
Clubbin house music:
Boom, boom, boom-boom
Boom, boom, boom-boom
A toddler, inarticulate in his omniscience,
Sirened for his mother, while his father
Pushed the stroller, fleeing
Gapers delayed for a second,
Then moved aside as if in a car
Providing a clear path for the
Ambulance to dart by uninhibited.
Fast paced in the opposite direction,
A long-haired bearded man with
His shirt tucked into and dangling
From his back pants pocket,
A tawny-tanned torso totally psyched,
Finally by something else, something
Other than his psyche, spoke loudly
Now THIS IS progress!!!
Turning the corner,
Pace even quicker,
Avoiding the rent-a-cop--
Off to find a different
Location for quiet-time
To revel in his inner peace.
Barely overheard. The overcast
Was ignored, too, by the majority
Of the people gathered, by those
Who enjoyed communicating
Either via hand-to-mouth or
Via mouth-to-ear, taking
Careful don't fall, hey, watch
Where you're going steps
To the next there is this thing
called a line stall.
A jazz band with keyboard and
Saxophone soloists extend their
Play of Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,
Drowning out all other beats,
Gathering a jaw-dropped audience,
Jiggling bodies with hands swaying
In the air, testifying, agreeing that
This was their theme song as the
Tinted-gray sky gleamed glamorously.