Entry LXXVI – September

Vulture
William Carlos Williams

I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a
bare hillside
Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a
vulture wheeling high up in heaven,
And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer,
its orbit narrowing,
I understood then
That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and
heard the flight feathers
Whistle above me and make their circle and come
nearer…
. . . how beautiful he looked, gliding down
On those great sails; how beautiful he looked,
veering away in the sea-light
over the precipice. I tell you solemnly
That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be
eaten by that beak and
become part of him, to share those wings and
those eyes –
What a sublime end of one’s body, what an ensky-
ment; what a life after death.

 

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