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Venetian Vultures


Stern steps pounded the paved ground
as my father turned away.
Bridged canals creeping past our crumbling fa├žade
of a happy family, he clenched his fists
and marched onward.

Halted by no man, marriage or wife,
he tore through pastel streets
like a vulture to slaughter,
complete with thinning hair,
a baggy suit, and hunched shoulders.

My mother, the raven, followed behind.
Carrying baggage and searching
for greying skies, finding only windows
barred by panes, pain, and corrugated iron.

And I slouched behind.
A dove, or pigeon, trying to peacock
my way into their sight, to steal a glimpse
or a moment in any way I could.

Wings clipped by pocketed hands,
I skimmed alongside the raven
as the vulture tore ahead.


Nathan Spencer