Only buzzards fly in these stale skies,
only thin shapeless clouds pass over the iron sun.
The moon seems little different, perhaps made from tin,
and those clouds don’t much care whose light they sop up.

Trees once tenderly shielded their daisy cousins,
but no leaves stay on the spider-leg branches
and bark has become brittle eyesore, hard as whale teeth.
Water is wasted on what was once wood.

Small things move about in the mustard grass
searching out smaller things to eat.
The gray dirt beneath affords some a home,
most a killing field, and a few a place to hide.

The needs of all but gentle things are in this glade.
A buzzard needs little more than a perch, a bit of carrion,
eyes to see and a thermal wind to lift it.
The carrion needs nothing but a place to be.


Michael Griffith is a disabled educator from New Jersey. He has two chapbooks out, Bloodline (2018, The Blue Nib) and Exposed (2018, Soma Publishing and Hidden Constellation Press). He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2018.


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