Tree of a Thousand Woodpeckers

Fingerling creeks have webbed themselves

through the brush. No gossamer

threads these but furred legs from some

broken tarantula glazed with snail slime

 

coffee pods from Kentucky bean trees

line a sinkhole moiled with acorn mast,

buckeye, the occasional pawpaw seed

 

all around the massive boles begin

drying, death already visited when

wind wrenched them from soaked soil

tossed them like jackstraws not to be

 

picked up: green ash, black walnut,

hickory and bladdernut splintering still

as heartwood gulps air in place of sap

 

the tree of a thousand woodpeckers has

toppled into two perfect canoes awaiting

portage, outer shells polished smooth

as songs to which I begin to hum a refrain

 

I’ve only to stop up these holes

to keep it all from escaping.