The Mayors of 12th Street
Sidewalk people. Street smart.
Ron English, a diva in chalk. Sebastian, the sombrero-clad bicyclist.
Memories surround Carl at the old Carl’s Bar.
Raymond Thunder-Sky, adorned in a hard-hat helmet;
Fifi Taft Rockefeller, feisty in sequins and green wig.
They are all Mayors of 12th Street.
Screen doors. Slammed shut. Suddenly open.
Nickels. Dimes. A Gateway Quarter brawl.
Corner dealer. Cops stop. They smile.
All once farmland here. Long before the Drop.
Rows corn. Holstein cows. Dairy airs.
Hillbilly feuds. Zombie Amish. Jammed cicada jelly.
Accidental empires. Cobble-stone alleys of the Rhine.
A hungry legend. Perhaps apocryphal tale.
Batavia’s lost gold ingots, buried. What lies beneath.
Somewhere hidden. A secret under our 12th Street rubble.
Gold-miners still dig here. Like fierce gerbils.
Welcome to 12th Street.
By Felix Winternitz