The death of a woodpecker by D.A. Pratt

The death of a woodpecker

Something white
was descending
from the bare branches
of our backyard ash tree …
our glances through our kitchen window
determined it was not snow …
the white was something
more disturbing … in the tree
we saw one of the merlins
that had returned to our neighbourhood
with the return of warmer weather …
for some reason I felt some perverse need
to go outside to get a closer look
and I saw something I wish had not:
the merlin had in its clutches its prey –
a black and white bird … when
I attempted to circle the ash tree
as if I just had to confirm the worst
the merlin flew away with its prize …
since that ugly moment
I have not seen a bird
that had regularly visited
my backyard bird-feeders
throughout the winter
(more than one winter
I’m willing to believe) …
the woodpecker seemed
to especially enjoy the suet feeder
which provided something for it
to eat with virtually every tap …
seeing this bird in our yard
brightened my existence …
but now it’s gone …
I have no doubt
that it’s gone …
I also have no doubt
that I will miss it
forever …

daveD.A. (David) Pratt  “continues to continue” in a comfortably conventional community in Canada … he is genuinely concerned about the burgeoning stupidity that seems to be virtually everywhere …

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