Death Stands Just Outside My Window
In the tree outside my bedroom window
Overlooking the preserve, not ten feet from me
A dozen black vultures
Jerk and twitch their veiny black necks
As they hop, fight and squawk
Over the body of an opossum
With a black tire mark
Over it’s spine and back legs.
I’m not sure if it’s their beaks pulling at furred flesh
Or a dying breath that had it the words I’m sure
It would wish for,
But its mouth seems to twitch at each touch
Of beak on body.
As I watch them caw and compete for the corpse
Another vulture alights on the outskirts
To see if it too can get in on the action and then
A green gator of maybe seven or eight feet
That must have been sitting,
Watching far longer than I,
Or maybe that just moved so slow
That not a one of the murder of carrion crows noticed it
Leaps from the brackish water
To the side of the embankment with jaws open.
I’m not sure if it mistook their numbers for its safety
Or was simply to hungry to care,
And was thus reckless,
But as the bird is pulled into the water by the neck and wing
It seems jut to accept what is, it doesn’t even scream.
Death stands just outside my window,
In intention and in accident,
With resistance and acceptance –
And as a cloud passes that dims the grim scene
For a moment I see my mirrored reflection in the glass
That reminds me that I too am locked in such a struggle to survive
For I too am matter and energy existing across space and time.
I’m not yet sure what that means to me
Nor that absolute certainty
Is a beneficial currency with which to trade
In the time left until I fill a grave
But looking at this scene I perceive I too am Death,
Speeding down the highway and waiting at the water’s edge
In my own way.