Turkey Vulture · Beaver Marsh Boardwalk View

The Turkey Vulture

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by Andrew Gilkey

Wings coast to coast,

a black scar on

the belly of the sky.

A red ruddy head scanning

roadside carrion.

I, an ecological equalizer.

An envoy of all forgotten gods of death.

The bluebird’s foil.

A feather for every gust guiding

thermal air that pushes me upwards, pushes

the smell of rot into my septimeless nose.

My baldness isn’t pattern,

It’s by design,

It’s a clean glove gripping a scalpel’s handle

picking meat from vacated

vessels to plunge bacteria bound flesh

into corrosive guts.

The sound of bone-scraping

is the lounge jazz of our night-time committees.

intermingling with our prehistoric chatter

as we look up to morning stars,

dreaming of the next day’s reaping.

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Traveling Stanzas community arts projects bring poetry to people’s everyday lives through innovative methods and digital platforms.