must be babies,
but I donít see them,
must be a nest, somewhere,
straddling empty limbs.
How does death reproduce?
I sit in the recliner
I look around the room:
television, mantle, front door,
rear window.
I watch the buzzards,
but I have no way of knowing
if they notice me.

Outside, on the chaise, Iím sure
I catch their attention,
in the aluminum folding chair
looking through the knotholes in the fence,
but inside I donít exist,
and the nest,
itís the same.
Stop thinking of us, said Hume,
God, close your eyes
and we disappear.

I think they are in Hinkley
that these are the buzzards of Hinkley Ohio
eighty miles from my hometown,
that they are forwarded like mail:
change of address
no longer at this address
last known
return to sender
maybe refused.
They will be back.
I canít stop thinking of them,
their black shrugs,
the pattern of population
of the once live tree.
There is nothing else in my sightline,
and Iím not going anywhere.


Tiff Holland's: poetry and prose have appeared in dozens of literary magazines, e-zines and anthologies and have twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her short story "The Boys" was named a notable story of 2008 by StorySouth Magazine. She lives in central Texas.


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