Head already resembling
blunt force trauma,
wings tucked at sides like an undertaker’s jacket,
a woodpecker lays dead on a bed
of last year’s leaves,
both victims of time’s carnage,
both soon to repopulate the soil’s university,
smart sprigs, timid shoots of future seasons.
Egg shells coming to harden in a mother’s body,
here lies a father, a husband born to
knock the spirits out of a maple or oak,
eyes blinded in death by the insect tribes
wounded by his primitive appetite,
blue beak still, silent, amid
the roar of progress.
- Cheryl A. Rice