Katie Fallon To be eaten by that beak and become part of him, to share those wings and those eyes-- What a sublime end of one's body, what an enskyment; what a life after death. Robinson Jeffers, "Vulture" The tree's bleached branches twist like misshapen arms, skeletal and bowed as they reach towards the cloud cover. It stands stark along Interstate 79 as I drive past; behind it billows a green curtain of leaves and pastures. Vultures hunch in crooks of the tree's elbows, talons wrapped around knots in the dead wood. There isn't an official term for a group of vultures, and flock seems too gentle--I call them a hunch of vultures. Hunch describes them best. They hunch together in the tree, they even seem to hunch when they soar. The vultures scan the highway as a light rain begins to fall. One spreads its wings. Another shivers and shakes drops from its feathers. Perched like black gargoyles they hunch and wait for something to die. I turn off the interstate and pull into the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center. My husband, Jesse, has already arrived; his silver car parked between poplar trees in the gravel driveway.
River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative – Ashland University
Published: Mar 11, 2005
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