I was holding my son in my arms, and I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.
He said I want to be a vulture when I grow up.
The stubborn years passed, and I grew accustomed to his bald pink head, his long skinny neck,
the brown and black feathers, the claws, the smell, but when he flew away it was still hard.
I hung out with all the other fathers, releasing their vultures into the sky, and we would look at
each other, asking,
did we do the right thing? All those poisons, the fucked up ecosystem we made so unthinkingly.
I found out that a group of vultures in flight is called a kettle, but a group of vultures resting
in trees is a committee. A wake of vultures is a group that is feeding.
I’d look up in the sky and watch them circling, wondering which one was mine, and if he
wondered the same about us
as he circled with his companions. Would his children want to be vultures when they grew up?
Or would one day in our old age a vulture would greet us at our doorstep carrying a basket with
babies inside it
determined to be people no matter what.
Regardless, we grew old, all of us; when we died they brought our bodies up to the rooftop
chopped into pieces, and we waited for our sons.
My son appeared before me, I got to hold him. I said my arms are free, and my legs, my legs are
free, my chest is difficult, and my head, but my hair is free, my blood is free;
He said my feathers are free and my claws are free, my beak is free, my wings are marvelous,
nothing is earned still it is marvelous.