Of Vultures, Death and Rebirth

Vultures gathered in a tree,
Two more circle overhead,
Riding currents I can’t see,
Raise the spirits of the dead.

The dead in your life is that which your soul no longer sustains. The river of your life has moved elsewhere, and you must move with it or perish as well.

I once saw the body of an old woman lying on a bed within hours of her death. Her body was skin and bones, withered by cancer. I don’t remember if she was still alive or if she had died when I saw her. But I do remember the spontaneous thought I had at that moment: “It’s just afterbirth.” The soul had left, born to another world. Her body, left behind, like a pile of yesterday’s clothes.

Our soul is carried upward after death, as if on the wings of a vulture, making circles around the sun, the way it always wanted to when we were alive.

(poem by Andy Drymalski, Ed.D.)

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