by Ann Howells

I've seen them before, roadside,
circling some distant wood: "Uh-oh,"
I mutter, "something's died."
But this morning, seven or eight
converge on my suburban street--
a small creature: rabbit, squirrel,
neighbor's cat or dog--struck down.
They glare, move one grudging foot
when my car interrupts their meal.
Several flap far as the curb.

They do not belong here, create
frissons of dread that travel
small of my back, behind my knees,
like waking at night to flashing lights,
like reaper dreams, like a friend's

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