Congress Street

Near the waterfront, after the sun has gone down—
When the merchants and tradesmen have left for the night,
All the pigeons have flown and the traffic is light—
An insurgency nudges this quarter of town

Like a boatload of jetsam washed in by the tide.
There is nothing a God-fearing matron can do
But to batten her windows and curtain the view
To concupiscent business transacted outside

Her abode. From the doorways half-hidden in shadow,
There appears an abundance of beckoning thighs
That are angled to capture the wandering eyes
Of the men who’ve arrived with a newfound bravado

And a fistful of dollars they’re eager to spend.
In this warren of crossroads not far from the docks,
When the hard meets the soft and the crowing of cocks
Is at hand, irrepressible yearnings transcend

The quotidian pinching of cupreous coins.
It’s a beautiful day when the heart and the head
Can agree, but of nights it may only be said
That the head and the heart are at odds with the loins.

C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden. Over the past eight years, hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and India. He is inordinately fond of single malt Scotch whisky.