As it turned out,

the old man walking at a tilt

along the road, with shoulders

hunched high, bare bald head

thrust low between, and knobbed

fingers twined for balance behind

as if he might blow over in a heap

if he stood straight, though there

was no wind to bend him, despite

the sound of leafless limbs in near

trees clacking as they scraped a

bruise upon the patch of sky above,

was a buzzard,

after all, advancing toward the city

that would neither shelter like chicks

beneath a mother’s wings, nor exhale

the breath sucked in when, untied,

the borrowed colt of a donkey

began to bray.

© dana hughes 3.13.15

2 thoughts on “Buzzard

  1. Well, you’ve done it again: taken a perfectly normal buzzard and turned him into a symbol of the hard edges of holiness. I spend half this poem thinking this is about a cadaverous old man walking down a road only to find out it’s an avian premonition of the cross. And all because of chicks and a braying, untied donkey. Dana, I love your ability to turn an image inside out and make it say something no one expected it could say. Thank you for seeing Palm Sunday as a march toward the place of the skull.

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