St. Francis of Budapest

I have just discovered a wonderful litttle book of poetry entitled EMPTY SHOES, Poems on the Hungry and Homeless. Although most of the poems focus on the poor, hungry, and homeless of the United States,  these issues are universal. And there are a number of poems in EMPTY SHOES dealing with the same issues with a more international focus. This poem by Susan F. Kirch-Thibado is one example.


Feeding the Pigeons

From his sack he draws golden
bread crumbs, scatters them at his feet.
As if by invisible signal they come–
the hungry and the opportune.

Their feathers catch the sun setting
over his bent shoulders. Dressed
in tuxedos of quick-silver gray,
mottled white-brown, iridescent
blue-black, they feed on his fare.

Sack empty, he walks back
to his alcove in the stone wall,
lies down on his bed of paper and rags–

St. Francis of Budapest closes his eyes and sleeps.