King Vultures

One of these could drop at any time.
See how incu­ri­ously they plod ahead.
A jaguar could take them out before they knew it.

And their off­spring — far too many, and their cries never cease:
Surely they’ll have to let the weak­est starve?

How dull it must be to lift each limb.
No wingèd cloak, no metal-​​button eyes,
No strik­ing yet prac­ti­cal crim­son crown.

We’ll help them out while help­ing our­selves,
Take what is good and return it to life.
Maybe this time some­thing bet­ter will come of it.

They barely see us on our wooden thrones;
At best, a glance from under cur­dled skin,
And their mum­bled contact-​​call: “Hor­ri­ble things.”

© 2015 Laura Brown

Today’s fea­tured poem by Laura Brown is a dis­cus­sion of the human predica­ment, to have evolved beyond evo­lu­tion and a cri­tique of our soci­ety. An asser­tion that it is strange in nature that we value all human life. It comes across as an outsider’s per­spec­tive but we are shown that the speaker them­selves is also inim­itably flawed in their view because they assert pity for humans for lack­ing traits that they pos­sess, in the same way as we may pity cats for lack­ing oppos­able thumbs. Do you feel your life would be improved with a pair of metal-​​button eyes or a wingéd cloak? Join the con­ver­sa­tion in the comments.

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