Hey, Mr. Woodpecker, backyard king
smart red head, dat dat dat-ing
at the metal railing
or the dead oak branches
where you endlessly store acorns in holes
never ceasing your dat dat dat-ing
and If one doesn’t fit just right
into the hole you’ve stuck it in
you’ll grab it, twist it around, poke it in tight
and if you’re still not satisfied, you’ll dat-dat a new hole
move that misfitting acorn before you check on another.
It’s a miracle that you remember
just where those thousands of acorns are stashed
I observe you daily
as you dive-bomb squirrels who
trespass in your tree.
I know your habits.
You hold no surprises for me.
I watch you watch the hummingbirds
at their feeder attached to my window
tended to daily by me
and you must think
how easy life could be
if you didn’t have to drill those thousands of holes
in hard dead wood
so you launch your oversized body
to perch on the window ledge near
the hummers’ feeder,
you poke your big, hole-drilling beak into the tiny openings
made for an entirely different kind of bill
I thought of no surprises
sit there, sipping the sugary sweet nectar
figuring life will be easier from now on.
By nanci lee woody, July, 2014