In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Vultures
  • Katherine Smith (bio)

She never wanted to know the domestic lifeof vultures, the way their squawks punctuatethe rustle of pines as they squabble for a roost,

their feathers and droppings in the ditch,the scavenger's unsteadiness as it tucks one leg bone underthe sphere of its puffed feathers,

and with the other yellow clawgrasps the branch. She never wantedto see them sleep

in the neighbor's pines,through firecrackers and buckshot,catercorner from her kitchen

window, hunched above her street,fifteen pairs of wings, like itor not. She wants

not to smell the stench of their roosting placethrough the black scarf she pulls over her nose and mouth,to see how lucky the vultures are

when the wind flicks themeasily, again and again,from the branch into the gusting air,

and their wings catchthe blazing winter dusk as they sailacross the bloodred fields. [End Page 135]

Katherine Smith

katherine smith's poetry and fiction have appeared in Ploughshares, Shenandoah, and Poetry. Her first book, Argument by Design, won the Washington Writers Publishing House poetry prize. She teaches at Montgomery College in Germantown, Maryland, where she is poetry editor of the Potomac Review.



Additional Information

Print ISSN
p. 135
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.