Campbell McGrath


Fever of Unknown Origin

A storm of buzzards is circling outside the window
of my hospital room, looking south and east across the river
toward the high-rise construction cranes downtown.
They are a regular sight in December, buzzards migrating
in particulate vortices, slow-moving gyres that resemble,
from a distance, glassless, black-feathered snow globes.
Satin-hemmed sheaths of cloud shuttle across the sky,
diffuse silver light alternating with bursts of Florida sun,
the occasional spatter of raindrops from a string
of unseasonable storms parading up from the Gulf,
cars composing a stop-and-go stream of metal
parallel to the river, small Caribbean freighters docked
along quaysides of cabbage palms and crab traps,
I can see it all with great clarity, the birds, the traffic,
it’s effortless—the doctor in the eye clinic
spoke enviously of my vision, better than 20/20,
even at my rapidly advancing middle age.