By J. KATES
The life-size and realistic bronze has stood on its parklet street corner for so long that no one remembers whom it represented or what it memorializes. The sculptor had done a good job. It looks pleased with itself, proud of its accomplishments in life.
Someone’s hat, an ordinary tweed cap, green and brown, not even worth describing, has fallen off, blown away, and come to rest upside down on the pavement underneath the bronze. Slowly the cap is filling up with coins and bills from passers-by. Clearly, they think this is not public art, but a street-artist slathered in metallic paint from head to foot, holding a pose. And the cap must be his.
A man has stopped to look. He is underdressed for the weather and disturbingly unkempt, talking out loud with nobody to listen. In the old days, we would have taken him to be schizophrenic. Nowadays, surely he must be wearing earbuds and conversing with his girlfriend. We do not give him a second glance. He continues exchanging messages with his teeth.
The bronze figure looks pleased with itself.
We drop a quarter in the cap.
J. Kates is a minor poet and a literary translator who lives in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire.