Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Just Write: River of concrete

A three man band plays to the street underneath a tent, singing of a man born near a river of concrete.  He thought the river always would run dry, or so the song goes, carrying me along with the riveting pluck of mandolin strings and percussion beat.  And I sit enchanted on a plastic chair in the middle of an L-shaped river of concrete on the edge of our little downtown.  The river here is all but dry, though the sun bakes us through the middle.  It teems with life.
I watch a steady flow of people moving up and down the street with cloth bags and a leisurely pace, a cool breeze blowing. Arms and bags and mouths fill with chocolate truffles from the shop down the street; an organic artisan ice cream truck; handcrafted cheeses; bouquets of flowers as vibrant as the scarves sold at Guatemalan markets; garden grown bushy leaves of kale, bunches of carrots, heads of cabbage, the final crop of apricots, plump peaches, tender plums, husks of corn, green tomatoes, snap peas; gluten-free goodies; farm-raised cuts of beef, lamb and pork; food trucks offering beef or pork tamales, quesadillas stuffed with market fresh veggies, gourmet burgers, wood-fired pizza, and spicy sausage dogs.

The music continues to carry us with the current through the streets.  The woman spoon-feeding her elderly mother ice cream.  The young dad with long hair and sandals, pacing back and forth with a sleeping infant nestled in a pack against his chest.  The little girl with shiny black hair and dark eyes waving shyly at me as she passes.  The teenage boy and girl lying on their backs in the grass, in the shade of tree, talking and laughing.  The small child pulled in a red wagon beneath a canopy, hauling fresh food for home.  The man on crutches trying to keep pace with his family.  We are all swimming in this river.

This is our Sunday market, concrete come alive.

* This post is linked up with Just Write, a Tuesday free-writing exercise.


  1. Lovely. And a lovely picture...the vividness of those flowers, against the reality of the drought, is especially striking.

    1. Thank you, Kathleen! It was one of those moments when I was actually aware that I was in the midst of some really cool imagery :-D