The Angel Lady

by Bob Lazzar-Atwood
(Bellingham, Washington)

She was called "The Angel Lady" for the ornaments she made,
She carved them out of scraps of fir and pine,
They echoed a belief she held from which she never strayed,
That angels are around us all the time.

Her ornaments were crafted with precision and with care,
From photographs her customers supplied,
And each of them was christened with a blessing or a prayer,
In honor of a loved one who had died.

She first received her calling with a heart consumed by grief,
The day her loving husband passed away,
She found that carving offered her a measure of relief,
And it brought a sense of purpose to her day.

And then when Christmas came with all the memories it brings
And clouds of sadness fell upon her heart,
She carved her husband's likeness with a pair of angel wings,
And magically the clouds began to part.

She fixed it with a piece of string and hung it on the tree,
He always loved the smell of fresh cut fir,
And when she sat beside the tree to carve a bit or read,
She felt his loving presence close to her.

When others saw the ornament, her neighbors and her friends,
They marveled at how life-like it appeared,
They begged her to consider carving ornaments for them,
Of loved ones they had lost throughout the years.

And so her mission started and her reputation spread,
As orders came from cities far and wide,
From grieving people seeking some remembrance of their dead,
And comfort from the pain they felt inside.

The children were the hardest and it often made her weep,
To carve their childish features in the pine,
But late at night a voice would reassure her in her sleep,
That angels were around them all the time.

And one day she received a special letter in her box,
From a boy whose family dog had passed away,
She thought about it briefly and then asked herself "why not?"
And she started carving pets that very day.

For twenty years she carved until her hands were old and tired,
The feeling in her fingers nearly gone,
But her belief in angels always made her feel inspired,
And helped her find the strength to carry on.

And then one Christmas Day a neighbor found her in her chair,
Her heart no longer sounding its commands,
With shavings all around her, in her clothing and her hair,
Her carving blade still nestled in her hand.

And as the medics came and slowly wheeled her to the door,
Her grieving friends were too distraught to see,
The looking glass that rested right beside her on the floor,
Or the newest little angel on the tree.

It hung there by her husband like two birds upon a limb,
A woman carved in wood still wet with stain,
Her head was turned and she was smiling lovingly at him,
And he was looking back at her the same.

Like all the other angels she had carved throughout the years,
The likeness was so real it chilled the spine,
And engraved upon the bottom was this very simple phrase,
"Angels are around us all the time."

The End

The Angel Lady
By Bob Lazzar-Atwood; Copyright 2006

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