Buzzards in My Oatmeal

16 06 2011

Last January, I was outside talking with the neighbor kids, when I noticed a flock (swarm, cloud, bunch?) of buzzards slowly circling overhead.  Okay, they weren’t really buzzards, they were black vultures, but calling them buzzards seemed to fit better, somehow.  It was an eerie feeling, watching about 20 of these big black birds, some circling one way, some the other, scarcely flapping a wing as they caught the late afternoon thermals.  The kids and I watched awe-struck for a moment, and then I reminded them that we should keep moving, lest they take us for road kill!  Later, I got to thinking about how a child would view this event, and I sat down to write this free verse poem.

Buzzards in My Oatmeal

Yesterday as the sun sank across a rosy sky

we craned our necks at

dozens of buzzards circling overhead,




in the evening breeze.

You held my hand tight


told me with a wink

to keep moving


those black-winged creatures might

snatch up

my little child self

for their dinner.

This morning,

I stirred my raisins

round and around

in my steaming oatmeal,


I saw buzzards.

Is it any wonder I can’t sit still?



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