A crazy old lady fed breadcrumbs to birds.
Adults in the neighborhood thought her absurd
but children had gathered in droves by her feet
and giggled, enchanted–her smile was so sweet.
She told them great stories of days in the war
when she had fed soldiers who’d come to her door
with food and fine tales to reclaim their lost smiles
and strengthen their spirits, for they crossed long miles.
Back then, she’d been pretty and smart and well dressed–
“But look at me now, kids, you’d never have guessed!”
And five year old Bobby, with tear in his eye, said,
“Dear Lady, your face shines and twinkles, like sky!”
“You kids have brought warmth to my old heart today;
I thought only pigeons would hear what I say.
The war is long over and I’ve been forgotten;
they look at me only as old–with teeth rotten!”
Some parents came over to scold all the kids
and pry them away as they lowered their lids,
intent to avoid the bright gaze of the lady
whom they thought ‘a bit off’ and probably shady.
But pure-hearted Bobby had clung to her leg,
eyes widened and eager; to his mom he begged,
“Please, let’s hear more stories of how she transformed
the sorrow of soldiers with songs she performed.”
His mother was startled and frightened at first,
but viewing her son’s heart about to be burst,
she asked the old lady to sing them a song,
requesting she just might not make it too long.
The lady grew quiet and inwardly still,
and then let her voice fly, which brought all a thrill;
though toothless and wrinkled, her voice was yet rich
with deep loving soul, not at all like a witch!
The mother of Bobby embraced him and said,
“She’s lovely; an angel, who feeds the birds bread.
“Yes, Mommy, I think she reminds me of you,
the way you put heart into all that you do.”