pileated woodpecker

‪Warm and still. Out of the corner of my eye, a pileated woodpecker slipping behind a tree. Distant howl of a train car’s misaligned wheels.‬

Fog blurs the distinction between white ground and white sky. The distant drum roll of a pileated woodpecker followed by a patter of rain.

In the holiday silence, a pileated woodpecker hammering a high-pitched snag is the loudest thing. The stream gurgles. Distant church bells.

A pileated woodpecker trepanning an oak to extract its harmful inhabitants the ants. Distant shots from deer hunters at a similar task.

In the valley, two train whistles—one high, one low. Down-hollow, two drumming woodpeckers—likewise. A clearing wind dries the heavy dew.