After the Romance

of leisurely looking for a sleek car equipped
with luxurious leather seats, soft-skinned and
supple beneath us, and then, somewhat later,

receiving the telephone call telling us of
Mother’s stroke, we hurried to the hospital
some miles away at dusk on a country road,

and, yes we saw them in our path: the band
of buzzards, stripping a body of supple flesh
above the bones, and, no, we didn’t sound
the horn as we were coming toward them,
straight-wheeled and speeding slower than
their wings, and no, we didn’t count on one
(there’s always one) who would not move,

and so we slammed into the black feathers of
a wing, the hard beak caught in our car grill,
caught beyond repair, caught with a wild eye
forever glaring at the wildness of the thing.

by Mary Harwell Sayler, from poetry book Living in the Nature Poem

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4 thoughts on “After the Romance

  1. You are such a close observer – what a quality that is! Hardy wanted to be known as ‘a man who noticed things’. You notice things.

  2. Mary, I found this poem of yours through Glynn’s Saturday Good Reads, and I’m so blessed to have been guided here. I’m astounded by your imagery. Grief and pain grasped in the “wildness of the thing.” Yes . . .

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