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Cathy Coley

Poetry and Woodpecker

Loblolly pines against blue sky with puffy cloud

Loblolly Pines


Poetry is the heart

Written with the mind

We poets try to express what makes

Our pumping vessels swell and contract

So that others may know their living meaning

Because we can’t know our own

Until we write it



Before the rain,

I brought a book outside

and heard the woodpecker

Chomping to find the heart.

I looked up and a breeze blew yellow

swathes from high in the loblolly pines

Before the grey skies shadow

the brightening sun

In a dance of spring.

Yellow yellow yellow jessamine

Overwhelms the chain link fence that

Keeps the dogs and cats in.

The new tabby, a wander in from the cold last fall,

Has figured out the pet doors finally

And chases the poor old quiet love cat

Under the shed.

He thought outside a reprieve from the little bully.

Water weighs the air heavy as love hangs on the heart

Griefs are many and tangled with pride

This season of flowers and burgeoning

Reminds me my kids are mostly grown

And we won’t blow the dandelions

Which populate the haphazard wildflower lawn.

The slate sky belies the wonder and

color of all that is new right now

and and and how nothing lasts, not even the

Knock knock knock of the woodpecker.

3/31/2021 1st draft