Nika McGuin

Gold Star - 7,393 Points (12/01/89 - present / Louisiana)

The Vulture's Pet - Poem by Nika McGuin

There was once a pretty young lady
She waked around with her head bowed
Portraying a meekness, mild, and humble
Terribly unaware of her presence in the world

But she had a vulture at her side
Who saw everything she couldn't
He saw her strengths, her beauty
But he also saw her weaknesses

A good vulture never misses an opportunity
So his mother had always taught him
And the girl had something he deeply coveted
Unknowingness made her all the more vulnerable

It knew just where to pick and peck
With its beak it ripped away at the layers
Of her self-image and self-esteem, already lost
At his side she was becoming more lost still

She could sense something wasn't right
Beneath the surface, the way he made her feel:
Less than, inadept, never good enough, wrong!
All of the picking and pecking finally struck a nerve

Rid of him! - was what she wanted to be
But somehow he always found a way
To appear guiltless, to be the victim
His act was always the same

Oh! but those two beady black eyes shone
With such a light of sincerity - almost believable
The vulture hunched his brown feathered shoulders
And earnestly swore its loyalty would always endure

She so wanted to believe him
They'd once been such good friends, it's true
She thought of all the years; all the good times
How has the vulture I know now grown so different?

Sentimentality, a virtue all vultures lack
Sadly, for the girl it was all she had left
In the vulture's eyes this was yet another weakness
To attack; Oh what easy prey, what luck!

He pecked and pecked until there was no more
Nothing left to take, no more use of her to make
He made himself scarce seeking out new reserves
Leaving his prey unattended for the first time

At first the young lady felt a chord of loneliness
She sent a few cards by way of pigeon mail
But our feathered fowl was always too busy to reply
Probably in some cliffside cave feasting away

Alone with herself for the first time
She asked herself, "who am I without vulture? "
"who was I to begin with? "
She couldn't answer either question

In the vulture's absence she began to realize
All the pain she'd allowed him to cause her
The several bits and pieces of her he'd gotten away with
And she witnessed for the first time his utter lack of remorse

When she finally got the courage to confront him
To point out each of the scars and open wounds his very beak had left
The vulture threw back his scarlet bald head letting out a whoop of laughter!
Without so much as a word the coward turned tail and flew away

She knew then, there'd be no closure
It was doubtless, the vulture had never truly cared for her
He cut ties without the slightest drop of hesitation
Leaving behind him a trail of chaos and devastation

Knowing all she did, the girl still could not help
But to mourn the loss of his companionship
knowing he'd long since ceased to be a friend to her
In fact, he never was one - that was entirely her delusion

Time continued its steady inching
And with the vulture gone she began to heal
There was nobody left to tear or chip at her
She was finally learning what it meant to build herself up

A year had passed with no word from the vulture
In that time she'd come to see what a blessing it was
Besides, she wasn't that same girl he used to know
It was thanks to his absence she had the room to grow

There now lives a beautiful young woman
Who walks around with her head held high
She bounds this earth with long confident strides
Because she finally knows who she is in the world

Topic(s) of this poem: betrayal, confidence, self discovery, vulnerability


Comments about The Vulture's Pet by Nika McGuin

  • Chinedu Dike (6/9/2019 8:25:00 PM)

    An interesting and fascinating story written with clarity of thought and mind. A creative and compelling piece of poetry. Thanks for sharing, Nika. (Report)Reply

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  • (10/2/2018 4:45:00 PM)

    Well described poem, Niki. Great feedback (comments) from other poets on this site. Reading out aloud gave it more feeling and meaning for myself. The length did not put me off. Bri Edwards list pointed me to this gem. (Report)Reply

    Nika Mcguin(10/4/2018 5:47:00 PM)

    Thanks for your patience and kind words! ~ Glad the length didn't scare you off lol.

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  • Bri Edwards (8/31/2018 12:43:00 AM)

    (cont.)

    ok, i now backtrack a bit. 'self-awareness' and 'confidence' are not all that makes for a successful life!
    BUT they SURE SHOULDN'T 'HURT' EITHER. Sometimes people can use/need a bit of luck, and, often, help from others who already have experienced a lot of life, good an/or bad.

    to MyPoemList & most likely into one of my (usually monthly showcases, if i DON'T FORGET!) .

    Beautiful work, Nika!

    bri :)
    (Report)Reply

    Nika Mcguin(10/4/2018 5:46:00 PM)

    I'm late I know, but thanks so much for all the great comments and for adding the poem to your list - you're awesome! ~

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  • Bri Edwards (8/31/2018 12:36:00 AM)

    (cont.)

    something 'made me' read the first stanza again. see the line 2 typo? i MISSED it the first time. and i ALSO realized (duh!) that the title implies that the young lady was the VULTURE's pet, not vice versa! nice!

    STANZA 16 is FANTASTIC! ! ! well, 'poetically-speaking'. otherwise, it sucks! ! !

    (cont.)
    (Report)Reply

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  • Bri Edwards (8/31/2018 12:15:00 AM)

    (cont.)

    another favorite:
    How has the vulture I know now grown so different?

    [sounds like some of my marriages! ]

    i got a low, rolling laugh out of this: She sent a few cards by way of pigeon mail Not snail mail?

    the only 'foul' i've found to 'pick at' so far...is your use of fowl. a vulture would not normally be called a 'fowl', but this is poetry, so 'we' get more of a free hand **, i say, than if it were an article for Audubon Magazine. :)

    (cont.)
    (Report)Reply

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  • Bri Edwards (8/31/2018 12:02:00 AM)

    some favorite lines:

    Rid of him! - was what she wanted to be
    But somehow he always found a way
    To appear guiltless, to be the victim
    His act was always the same......I'm beginnin' to think this is NOT about just any old vulture! ! !

    (cont.)
    (Report)Reply

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  • (4/26/2018 11:18:00 PM)

    This is a transcendent work, Nika. As I read, I was reminded of Jarrell's The Woman at the Washington Zoo. Both that work and your gem remind me of just how much of what goes into identity, imposed by others and drawn out by the self, is actually dependent on the vulture. A great poem, Nika. (Report)Reply

    Nika Mcguin(4/27/2018 12:02:00 AM)

    Thanks Mj ~ I had to go and read it for myself, quite an amazing poem. In the case of the zoo worker she'd lost herself to the point of hopelessness but she's very self-aware. In the case of the girl here she had no clue who she was to begin with. Indeed similar concepts, It's so important to know who you are.

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  • Ini Mendy (4/25/2018 9:00:00 AM)

    good piece...well knitted to reflect her vulnerability but there's still hope (Report)Reply

    Nika Mcguin(4/25/2018 9:46:00 PM)

    Thanks Ini, for the kind words! I'm humbled by your review~

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  • Drtony Brahmin (4/25/2018 12:48:00 AM)

    He pecked and pecked until there was no more
    Nothing left to take, no more use of her to make
    He made himself scarce seeking out new reserves
    Leaving his prey unattended for the first time........all the girls in this world should read this poem.......just so fine...... girls should know that there are vultures around hovering to eat their innocence up...........thank u dear poetess.
    (Report)Reply

    Nika Mcguin(4/25/2018 9:44:00 PM)

    Thank you so much for the kind words Dr. Tony. And yes it is so important especially as a young woman to be aware of the vibes you put out there. If you don't know who you are as a person it makes it easier for you to become taken advantage of.

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  • Rose Marie Juan-austin (4/24/2018 11:25:00 PM)

    A poignant write but with hope at the end.
    A vivid portrayal of the weakness and strength of a person.
    Beautifully crafted and well executed piece.10
    (Report)Reply

    Nika Mcguin(4/25/2018 9:49:00 PM)

    Thanks so much for the lovely comment, and thanks for taking the time to read it, being a longer poem.

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  • Jazib Kamalvi (4/24/2018 10:45:00 PM)

    Write comment. Great imagination, Nika. Read my poem, Love and Iust. Thanks (Report)Reply

    Nika Mcguin(4/25/2018 9:49:00 PM)

    Thanks Jazib, will do!

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 24, 2018



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