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Watching the Vulture
at the Road Kill


You know Death by his leisure—take

The time we saw the vulture make

His slow, hot-air-balloon descent

To a possum smashed beside the pavement.

We stopped the car to watch.  Too close.

He bounced his moon-walk bounce and rose

With a shrug up to the kudzu sleeve

Of a pine, to wait for us to leave.

What else can afford to linger?

The eagle has his trigger-finger,

Quails and doves their shell-shocked nerves—

There is no peace but scavengers.


Alicia E. Stallings



© Alicia E. Stallings.  From Archaic Smile,
University of Evansville Press; originally printed in
Light; reprinted by permission of the author.

Background by
Erd Ogivae

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