King Vultures

This poem originally appeared on Dagda Publishing's now-defunct website. 

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.”