I always thought
they’d like death metal,
but I’ve got it on good authority
vultures prefer smooth jazz.
Ambulance rides can be rough;
vultures know this and relax.
Watching the highway, they know
everyone gets his turn.
Turkey Vultures can smell a corpse
from hundreds of feet up. Outflying
Cessnas they arrive first on the scene.
Black Vultures follow, pushing
the solitary Turkeys to the rotting edges.
The Black Vultures brag that by traveling
together they’ve learned to attack
and kill small animals: calves and possums.
Straightening their ties, they discuss
elaborate plans to go public. Someday, they claim,
they will become hawks or eagles.
The Turkey Vulture listens to this talk,
wondering if he too will evolve.
James Brush, Texas, USA