In shorts and what is called a halter, she pedals,
rings a bell, transistor portable
playing from handlebar. On evening porches
husbands watch and smile as her dark hair swings.
Couples stroll, stars burst for the Fourth of July,
boys scare girls with illegal cherry bombs.
A band’s well-mannered blues on the Courthouse lawn
inspire street dancers, who casually shuffle and cling.
Why is she riding the bike and ringing the bell?
Where are couples strolling? Why scare girls?
What is the point of dancing in the street?
What sort of answer could these questions bring?
A painting by Breughel showed, when cleaned, beneath
what had seemed to be only a country dance,
a village orgy, with everyone’s privates unmasked.
Someone had retouched the embarrassing thing.