On looking into the mirror one afternoon An old buzzard once came and he knocked on my heart, And politely he asked to come in for a while. He had said he was looking for carrion to eat, “Oh no problem”, I answered, and gave him a smile. Then I opened my door to that buzzardly beast And I set him to table: “What is it you´d like?” “Perhaps some old rabbit, or hens for a feast? Perhaps you like fish? I have mackerel and pike!” But naught of all that for that grizzly old buzzard. He winked, and then shook his bald head on his neck. “I was hoping”, said he, “perhaps for some other… Do you not have some old human heart I could peck?” “Because rabbits, you know, are a delicious meal, And fishes and hens are my habitual plate, But nothing´s enough for this old buzzard since Of a lonely and tired human heart once I ate!” How I looked at that buzzard with his blood-shot eyes, His pink straggly neck and his big gangly beak! How I looked at his talons encrusted inside With mud and with blood… and he asked “Won´t you speak?” Well, I wondered one moment as he motioned to stay, Then I heard, as he sat in his chair with such ease, “I have come to your table, and say what you may, You know I´m expected. Garcon, service please”. So slowly, reluctantly, I reached for my heart, For I thought it would not be polite to refuse, And so funny, that bird seemed as familiar to me As the image I see in the mirror I use So I reached for my heart… then I grabbed for his neck, And I choked it two times, then I twisted it four. “You miserable old buzzard, this heart´s not for you! Out, out of my soul!” I cried, “Out, out of my door!” Poet's Note: The inspiration of this poem is not “The Raven” by Poe, as some have believed, but Thomas Hardy’s brilliant “I Look into my Glass” Fr. Bruce Wren, born in 1962 in the small town of Cottonwood, Idaho, current serves as Chaplain of the Chicago Chapter of the Lumen Institute, Section Director to the Chicago Regnum Christi Men’s section, chaplain to the Catholic Professionals of Illinois, spiritual director for many religious and lay people, and helps regularly at several parishes in the Chicago Diocese. He also devotes regular time to the feminine congregations of the Missionaries of Charity, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and the Rosary Hill Dominican Sisters. He has published one book of poetry, “Fending off the Dragon Fire”, available at Amazon.