September. Court is in session again,
a darkness on the edge of our town.
Winthrop’s vultures have returned
to their perches in the forked snag.
8 AM. Backlit, nine of them hunch
in feathered robes of blackest night,
a silent judiciary. Sycophant clerks,
seven others spreadeagle to dry.
A pickup truck, overloaded with hay,
careers down the nearby asphalt.
Misty rays flash over the railed bed.
Three kids atop giggle off to school.
They pass the ditch-decayed carcass
of the diseased and long-dead doe,
and the abandoned roadside memorial
of two teens too-soon gone from DUI.
The Winthrop Trail gates intersect
this ill-advised hayride’s trajectory;
at left, a remuda of broke mustangs
stares at mules across the road
pushing up against each other’s bulk,
imagining that the brown is greener
across the way. In the adjoining field
spotted fawns frolic in irrigated grass.
What do the vultures care?
The preening seven shrug.
The hunching nine just wait.
And you: Where do you fit in?