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The Dead Woodpecker

By John I. Blair

At first I do not recognize
This awkward little bundle,
Scuffled halfway out of view
Beneath the patio chair;
But then familiar patterning
Of spotted feathers on the back
Reminds me that Iíve seen it many times
Dancing through the joyous air
Above our garden.
What could have happened
To so suddenly stop
That fierce life it once radiated?
As I pick the stillness up
And place it carefully in the compost heap,
I grieve to think this husk
Is all I have to handle
Now that the life is gone.

©2002 John I. Blair


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