10 February 2008


Down on Michigan Avenue
three blocks off the Lake,
on a Saturday, among thousands
—no, tens of thousands—
of cars careening,
hurried taxis honking, buses belching,
ambulances sirening,
office workers, shoppers,
tourists gawking skyward,
from corn-fed Illinois or Iowa towns,
the glad-it's-summer homeless,
street performers
like the talented young blacks
on upturned five-gallon plastic buckets,
warrior-walking my way
learned in Montego Bay,
when out-pacing the guys
selling coral or ganja,
but now the palpable, frenetic energy
of the city,

always breezy
with the most intense flowers,
everyone giving credit to the mayor
--The Mayor, Richard M. Daley--
except those handing out leaflets
preaching to impeach,
but overhearing talk
about Chicago in a renaissance,
everyone proud of construction everywhere,
except triumphant Trump Tower on the River,
which is booed for some
Chicagoan reason;
warrior-walking my fast-paced way
across pizza-smelling intersections
when the lights flash "No Walking,"
not wanting to slow my synergistic
just keeping blood-pumping pace
with the flow of the loud El,

the traffic,
and the merely strolling people.

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