Wanted: One cliché to replace the old woman currently feeding the pigeons in our city park

Sean Lause

Photo Credit: dafuriousd/Flickr (CC-by-nc)

Photo Credit: dafuriousd/Flickr (CC-by-nc)

She feeds pigeons, only pigeons.
If a sparrow alights on her big cigar,
she blows smoke in its face
and flicks it away. And her laughter
stings the air like bees.

She snarls obscenities at perfect strangers
for not being stranger enough.
She kicks children who step too close
with her plastic Family Dollar sneakers.
She has her bench and will not budge.

The pigeons flock to her, only to her.
They are filthy and will not scare.
Some have disturbing pink eyes,
and these birds dance occult
computations in the snow.

She appears to have a large supply of bread.
Still, she might be homeless,
which is bad for tourism,
and which may very well embarrass
some of our Christian brethren.

She refuses to give her name.
The police are baffled. She feeds and feeds,
chuffing away on her cigar. One pigeon
sits on her head like a dubious divinity.
At night she fades into shadowed trees.

A group of concerned citizens
is seeking a little old lady to replace her.
Must be neat and clean, and adore children.
Non-smoker preferred. Benefits include
nursing home accommodations if necessary.

pencilSean Lause teaches at Rhodes State College in Lima, Ohio. His poems have appeared in The Minnesota Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Atlanta Review, The Pedestal, European Judaism, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Upstart Crow, Sanskrit, The Alaska Quarterly and Poetry International. His first book of poems, Bestiary of Souls, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2013. Email: lause.s[at]rhodesstate.edu

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