06/24/2015 09:20 pm ET Updated Jun 23, 2016

Flying the Coop

Carlo A via Getty Images

You needn't set your watch
She'll be there
She's always there
Same bench,
Same checkered blue hat
Same scruffy, neon pink Nikes

Some question her sanity
Those clothes! That hat! Honestly!
Some think her a deaf mute
Unable to be properly broken
by the gawkers

She silently ignores them each day
She wasn't there for them
She would never take such care in preparing
her daily, exactly two day old baguette
It would be wasted on their pedestrian palates

Her time was spent
Sometimes hours
Lovingly turning loaves into crumbs
She would feed those worthy
of her limited time she so savored

She answers to those gathered there
Not to gawk or judge
Not to reflect their sad, empty lives onto hers

She never worries her spot will be occupied
I would never sit where that woman sits
So dirty
So old
So crazy
Their condemnation held her daily reservation
Available 24/7
Rain or shine

She sits, slowly and with purpose
She plunges another hairpin into the unruly bun
nestled atop her head
Her checkered hat listing to one side
completing her "crazy lady" ensemble

The wisps of her silvery hair
Uncooperative tresses
refusing to be captured
cascade down her cheeks
and spill over her hunched shoulders
She quietly admires their rebellion

Happily and anxiously
they gather each day
in hopes of being the first to spy
hot pink Nikes
wending their way toward them

Shhhhhhhhh, shhhhhhhhhhh
she murmurs
calming them with her tranquil charm

She affectionately casts her spell
along with her first handful
of French baguette crumbs
Rewarding her only remaining friends
for their non-wavering devotion

She takes comfort in their contentment
In this enlightened realm
They share communion
with bread broken
Under the White Oak
Beside the bench
In the park

She considers a shirt
A neon one
bright as the summer sun
"I am NOT a Crazy Bird Lady -- I Just Know More Than You"
But what fun would that be?
To surrender
The pigeons agree
unanimously thwarting the notion

Hours pass as do the weary masses
She again communes with her feathered audience
People, so sad
Scurrying about to nowhere important

Her birds chortle a response
Don't tell them our secret,
you won't have anywhere to sit if you do

She leans back for a moment of firm support
the wooden bench
and her ever bobbing
wise and winged flock offer
She nods in agreement

With a quick, much practiced
flick of her wrist
A shower of morsels
arrive from above and cover them
like the rain they flop themselves clean in
She marvels
at their whimsy and wisdom

Long, silvery tresses
having escaped the confines
of their bobby pin prison
like a whisper on her face
Reminding her of the rebellious girl
Still able to conjure mischief within

The clever one inside
Now and always clamoring
for release from her confines
of imposed diplomacy

She pulls the last pin from her bun
and leans into the soft,
beckoning breeze
granting early release to her unruly locks

As the tresses swirl and dance
like a stallion's mane
She vividly recalls how she loved
riding with the top down
Even in the rain
Ha! Always the rebel

She counts her blessings
as she counts her birds
Who is missing today and why?
Will any notice when she is missing
and wonder why?

Where has that crazy bird lady been?

She shuts her eyes to embrace
another moment of existence
A perhaps stolen moment
from the timepiece
losing seconds as it ages
like the beats of her crazy bird lady heart

Oh, how lucky I am
her cloudy eyes exclaim to the angels
appearing before her

To have escaped
to this heavenly spot
Under the White Oak tree
Beside the bench
In the park

She gathers her plunder
and takes pause to remember
That all the world
Her crazy bird lady world
Was all right there

Laying at her pink neon Nikes