Two days before my friend from England arrives, my inner voice sounds like a tour guide: Those are flickers. Hear how they croon their name?
The sun glows faintly through the clouds like a coin at the bottom of a fountain. Three flickers bicker above the springhouse.
Morning full of the cries of woodpeckers—part ululation, part rusty hinge. Like the sounds the trees make in a winter wind, speeded up.
The small cross of a plane against the blue, its distant drone. A flicker climbing the dead elm loses his footing on a patch of sunlight.