The Death of the Woodpecker

Death of a Woodpecker

Pileated, red

I watched you for weeks. Trying

to take pictures – I perched on windowsills

and under trees. I couldn’t capture, only


Your scarlet head forced my

attention back – outside of myself and the housework –

to the trees lining the driveway, apple blossoms,

green grass, a street lined with loving


Last night

I sat outside, talking and laughing

ice cubes and chardonnay and grilled chicken

I placed my dirt-stained feet underneath me

turned toward conversation, I saw the

car, I heard the thump: soft as a pillow, solid

as life.


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