Morning Vultures

Morning commuters snake
through Middletown,
a slow order of segments:
green, yellow, red.
We coast, stop, start,
indicate directions,
read signs, taking turns.

A gang of roadside vultures
circles a dead deer.
One, perhaps the CEO,
stands on the torso,
pecking the hide,
surveys his colleagues,
says look at me, bro’s,
I’m top of the heap,
A-number one.
The others stomp,
wings cranking,
eager for their turn.

Great scavangers
taking care of business.
You can’t fucking stop us, they say,
pass by, go to work,
don’t look so shocked,
you are capable
of so much worse,
after all, this is your doing,
we clean up the
messes you make.

The traffic inches,
50 yards on a body,
a young doe,
sunrise road kill,
alone on the grass,

I wonder, do the vultures
need permission to process it?
Is there a rule book?
Who goes first, thereafter?
Must they finish deer number 1
before attending to the doe?
It seems so orderly.
Tomorrow morning
will I remember
to look and find
short grass
and no deer?

I look away,
check the time,
don’t make the light,
ease to the front
of the line,
waiting for green.