secured by nest
in the corner of the run-down
adjacent buildings’ overhang
chirp for mother
and bob their over-sized yellow beaks
every time the camera bulb flashes
against their darkened sanctuary
hoping it’s their provider come back with their daily bread.
Below, a tiger-stripped feline
crouches, anticipating an early supper.
but the starling returns to the nestled crib,
and the thief backs away, submitting to
fierce, dive bombing attacks
of a mother protecting her young.
Around the corner of the alley,
the town canine with protruding eye teeth
poises for the chase
as its prey darts out
into the winding, narrow street
the grocer chases Fido,
scolding it in words ill-suited for children’ ears.
After a well deserved nap,
this business owner strides proudly
across the cobblestone to the pizzeria
before his customers flood his store.
Pesto sauce dripping from his chin,
the veteran of many a price wars returns,
views the plentiful, the bountiful, the buyers
who check, double-check their Rolexes
ready to negotiate
satiate their cravings
as well as their children
who cry, whine and scream
for ice cream
or a suitable replacement
for mother’s milk
in a time not so long ago forgotten.