Once, walking toward a trailhead,
I glanced at a pasture, horses skittish
as if stalked by a wolf pack.
By the fence, four buzzards,
black wings folded,
heads together, as if reminiscing
about the foal, down but still twitching:
as if the wake were lamenting
it’d been taken too young,
while its dam nuzzled and prodded,
desperate for it to rise and suckle,
stamping a hoof to scare off the wake.
In my fantasy of happy endings,
while the foal guzzled,
the birds loudly ascended, insulted
that the funeral feast had been yanked
away: a magic-trick tablecloth.
But no such luck, as I hurried off.