The Woodpecker Keeps Returning

By Jane Hirshfield b. 1953 Jane Hirshfield
The woodpecker keeps returning
to drill the house wall.
Put a pie plate over one place, he chooses another.

There is nothing good to eat there:
he has found in the house
a resonant billboard to post his intentions,
his voluble strength as provider.

But where is the female he drums for? Where?

I ask this, who am myself the ruined siding,
the handsome red-capped bird, the missing mate.

Poem copyright © 2005 by Jane Hirshfield from her forthcoming book After (Harper Collins, 2006), and reprinted by permission of the author.

Source: After (2006)

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Poet Jane Hirshfield b. 1953

Subjects Nature, Animals

Poetic Terms Free Verse