The Marble Arch

A woman walks under the marble arch and there is almost a rumble as the pigeons fly towards her. She is nearly doubled over, her back is hunched with the weight of shopping bags and from age. She is surrounded by pigeons who walk next to her like school children or fans of a rocks star. They recognize her. She slowly makes her way to the benches and set down her bags. The birds get in closer and closer until she finally opens a bread bag and dumps crumbs on the ground around her. The density of the birds doubles to triples, now they are on top of each other trying to get to the food she is giving them. She dumps the bag three or four times for good measure and then sits on the bench. Slowly the birds drift off and find roosts on the benches around her and spread out around the marble arch. They puff up their feathers to stay warm in the misting rain and wind.

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