Its head naked as a comma, the vulture rides the air in circles, slow as the sweep of a broom in an old man's hands. Ringed in red, its eyes are the color of onions, pocked and peeled for death. The feathers on the tips of its wings could be fingers stretched out as if poised to play the piano.
bits of feather
beneath the fir
I once saw a squadron of vultures drop out of the sky like bags of dust and descend upon a carcass half-hidden in grass. Gathered like mendicants in dark cloaks, they paused, their heads swaying, until some spring-loaded desire snapped open, and they dove forward in one raucous mantra.
in the shadow
of a hooked beak
dead of winter
Keith Polette lives and writes in El Paso, Texas. His book of haiku, The New World, and his book of haibun, Pilgrimage, were both published by Red Moon Press.