I have changed my mind on vultures.
They’re not the villains I once thought –
still not the heroes,
just nature’s clean-up crew.
We have turkey vultures where I live,
and the resemblance is clear:
two featherless head, both red,
but one sleeker and more startling,
too much like blood and bone.
Both are described as “goose-sized or larger,”
but turkeys proper keep to the ground,
while vultures are masters of the air.
Wings held wide, they ride thermal currents;
circling, soaring, knifing like stunt planes.
They’re a joy to watch, inspiring envy and awe.
I’m done with disappointment and pining for eagles.
Although a looming crowd of vultures
still conjures up the specter of death,
I’m trying to lay it to rest.
They don’t wait for me or mine,
jaywalking wildlife suits them fine.