Dead Bird Bend

by Scott Johnson

In River Bend the vultures flew,
Their numbers strong and proud.
And on the water tower in 
the morning they would crowd.
On broad brown wings they spent their days
On lazy, soaring rounds,
Looking for sad victims
Of the cars that speed through town.

On Clarks Road one can see a few
In morning's grazing light,
But scarcely one is seen in town
Where once they would alight.
I loved the graceful vultures
And was proud to call them friend.
But Jackson now has banished them
From his town, Dead Bird Bend.

"BIRD SANCTUARY!" shouts the sign
In letters bold and white
But just a few yards further on,
Hangs a disgusting sight.
For on the water tower, stuffed 
And dangling in the wind
There's a vulture hung in effigy
Welcome to Dead Bird Bend.

"The birds are pooping on my car!"
The vulture haters claim.
"The vulture poop dissolves our paint,"
So Jackson did exclaim.
And just like that, without a thought
Our vultures to defend,
He hung that sick'ning effigy
And gave us Dead Bird Bend.

Each day I wake and mourn the loss
Of natures cleanup crew.
Reporters help us tell our tale.
It's all that we can do.
If I could hang an effigy
Upon the tall beige tower,
It would be one of Jackson,
Thus the vultures to empower.

I venture out most mornings with
My camera at my side,
Hoping I will catch a glimpse
Of what's been pushed aside.
I loved the graceful vultures
And was proud to call them friend.
But not a one has lately soared
The skies of Dead Bird Bend.

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