First Vultures of Spring

by Rachel Creager Ireland

How it feels before a storm.
The wind is vigorous, the air not bright,
but charged, fragrant with the absence
of impurity. Something is blowing in,
might be just rain and lightning and thunder,
sky exercising its massive power,
then again it could be something
else altogether, something that could
grab you by the solar plexus and shock you
into becoming a new kind of being.

On a day like this you might see
the first vultures of the year,
surfing the wind with their whole bodies.
Surely if they had teeth you’d see them grin,
feeling the air caress the skin between the feathers,
the lift under the wings.
I saw two, then three more,
today, March 18, 2012,
and my heart skipped a beat.
Namaste, I said out loud.
Welcome back, friends.