44839: Poetry From a Zip Code (2018)

Another poem, which was selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of 44839: Poetry From a Zip Code, was “Full Circle.”  The anthology was published by Drinian Press, LLC in conjunction with the Huron Public Library and its poet laureate program. I share it here.

Full Circle


Traveling down route 13,

we see, in the sky, turkey vultures

riding thermals.

Several harbingers of death

circling above the earth.


There’s probably road kill ahead,

perhaps a raccoon,

considering the number I’ve seen lately

along highways and roads.


But rounding the bend in the road,

It’s a turkey vulture,

killed, with feathers askew,

caught in the act of being itself.


For those above, is it carrion instinct

to wait until the coast is clear,

opting to cannibalize their own?

Or is it a vigil?

Mourning the loss…

Of a mate (one with whom they mated for life)?

Or a parent,

or a brother or sister?


Do they mourn as we do?

Grieving our own losses

of spouse, parent, sibling, or child?


They continue to circle—

Others join the first few.

Gliding, riding the air waves,

the vigil for the dead continues.


Perhaps, I will never know the reason why,

or the answers to my questions.

Why they mourn, how they mourn,

And if they mourn as we do.


I’d like to think they do…

~Nancy Brady, 2018

Most people are not fond of turkey vultures, which are also known as buzzards. They may even find them abhorrent, but I think they have a nobility all their own. In fact, they are celebrated each March in Hinckley, Ohio when they return. Another poem about turkey vultures is entitled “Return to earth” and was written for Earth Day quite a few years ago. It can be found in Three Breaths, which was published in 2006 by Drinian Press, LLC.

Return to earth

Reduce, recycle, reuse,

the bird, not celebrated,

(except in Hinckley)

follows the premise.


Gliding, winging its way


fields and highways–

each spring


to winter’s detritus.


The reaper’s shadow

watches for death,

gliding and soaring on thermals,

joined now by companions.


Hulking Skeksis

tearing at decaying flesh,

ripping from bones.


With status

of raptor hawk


feast on leftovers.




~Nancy Brady

About pedometergeek

A pharmacist by profession, a haiku poet by nature, I read and write. I have a book of haiku, Ohayo Haiku, and another somewhat alternative haiku book, Three Breaths, but write other genres. I also read...lots of novels! My favorite is, and remains, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged but I am also a big Harry Potter fan. I truly am a pedometer geek strapping on my pedometer as soon as I awaken.
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2 Responses to 44839: Poetry From a Zip Code (2018)

  1. Jules says:

    We have many in our neighborhood. I looked up this noble avian: “The turkey vulture symbolizes cleanliness, adaptability, loyalty, community, innovation, protection, death, rebirth, resourcefulness, renewal, patience, perception, tolerance, trust, excellent sense of smell, defensiveness, protection…”

    Perhaps a face only a mother could love… But they do have their place in nature and you have honored them with your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, JP, for the compliment. They are truly amazing birds. There is a website with some of Rob’s photos of vultures. It is braidedway.org. It accompanies the article written by another poet, Paula Lambert. I have to admit I looked it over, but have not read it.


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