Almost Easter and the vultures have returned,
roosting on my neighbor's roof, like praying
monks in sacerdotal robes, swaying
in their rapture. Soon they'll fly, adjourning
to perform their holy office, blessing carcasses
of possum, deer, raccoon and squirrel laid low
by cold or cars, revealed by melting snow
and resurrected from the deep freeze. Bless us,
oh Lord, and these thy gifts. So welcome back
you black-winged, thermal-gliding angels, God's great
recyclers. With no stain of guilt, no weight
of worry, the vultures conjure life from wrack
and send it soaring. I hope one day I, too, will rise
in beak, on wing, dakini-borne, to clouds and sky.
About the Author: Diane Henningfeld grew up in Howland Corners, Ohio, next door to her father's hardware store. She still knows her way around galvanized pipe-fittings. As an older woman, she walks in Scotland and Ireland every May, logging over 1000 miles during the past ten years. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Stoneboat, Raintown Review, Third Wednesday, unbroken, Flash Fiction Magazine, Storm Cellar, Dunes Review, and The Michigan Poet. Her chapbook, Turning, was published in 2016. She lives in Adrian, Michigan, where she taught literature and writing at Adrian College for many years.