A mob of unrepentant aesthetes
armed with heaping wheelbarrows of chalk
colors the sidewalk that meanders
from city hall to the steel mill. 
Newspapers say it’s a shame when rain
blots out the riot of tints, but the mob
is thrilled to collaborate with the weather
on a piece of performance art.  
In memoriam, the ladies’ botanical society
pulverizes the sidewalk and plants
an herb garden consisting of species
used for mystic and medicinal purposes. 
Visitors leave small statues
among the mandrake and milk thistle:
Jesuses, both baby and open-armed messiah;
red-hatted gnomes; a pair of waltzing frogs.
Soon the orchestra gives free concerts
beside the coriander; brides clutching bouquets
of lavender pose for pictures with their grooms;
and a kindergarten class walks along,
hand in hand. To them, the statues suggest
the possibility of refusing all else
in favor of settling in one spot
to watch the progress of clouds.