WATCHING A RIVER FLOW
by Charles P. Ries
(March 24th, 2004)
The Third Street river is flowing cool
and slow. Its high and tight on Friday night.

Bum walks by imitating the hype
and clean...but smelling like a bar floor.
Hes listening...to something on the
D Battery hes pressed to the side of his head.
Its not a tune - hes not humming.
Its not a prophetic vision - hes not glowing.

Bag lady dances near the dumpster looking like
a helium balloon. Shes the gravitational center
of a plastic bag she wears for warmth. A planet
stuffed full of bathroom tissue and old newspapers.

Shes humming...something too.
In her mind she hears a hit parade.

Damp and 50 degrees doesnt prevent Ms. Candy
Cane from showing off 80% of her six foot frame
with only 8% body fat. Her boyfriend looks nervous
holding this long, lanky love stick. Worried she
might float away like tissue in a soft breeze.

Bums and bunnies drift past me like minstrels in a
marching band. The river is leading me downstream.
                        

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