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The Woodpecker Keeps Returning

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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.

Jane Hirshfield, “The Woodpecker Keeps Returning” from After. Copyright © 2006 by Jane Hirshfield.  Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
Source: After (2006)
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The Woodpecker Keeps Returning

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