Three Woodpeckers

 
I know I cannot open myself
to mere modulation.

 
Having room is a form of being,

 
place where you are cherished, even belatedly,                                         
like the trio of woodpeckers

 
who arrive at dusk claiming the heart-wood—              

 
They resist camouflage.
They do not hide their need or thaw

 
the instinct to prune flesh rot—

 
I hear the tap  tap  tap,
signal sound of the hard soul persisting, yielding

 
to its natural work.

 
They make amber
wheels of light, three, a ravishing, each as the Spirit turns,

 
making dark,
hovering usage of the winged self.  Here—
 

Then,
           gone—

 

 

Eva Hooker is professor of English and writer-in-residence at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana. The Winter Keeper, a hand-bound chapbook (Chapiteau Press, Montpelier, Vermont, 2000), was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in poetry in 2001. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The New England Review, Agni, The Harvard Review, Salmagundi, Witness, Drunken Boat, and Best New Poets 2008. Her poetry is affected by her experiences of the northland and of Lake Superior.

Photo of woodpecker feather by Timothy Hodgkinson, courtesy Shutterstock.

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