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Racket                                                                                                                                                                                               Ann E. Michael

The woodpecker tries to dismantle the house.

Barred black and white, one ounce

of bird, small enough to sleep in a human hand,

batters eaves, cornerboards, cedar siding, and

drills the forest, reconstituted as 2 x 6s, board-

&-batten, beam, joist, frame. Pocks posts, tears

into tons of wood, seeking nest holes, shelter,

grubs, insects, exposed cocoons and larvae.


Why not take apart the house, one neat little hole

at a time, to architectural origins? Ontology of the whole

house: forest, where the downy can rattle roof trusses,

wake the family dog, establish the dominion (over us)

of the tiny, remove the looming, linear obstacle of habitat

mite by mite and bit by bit. Make use of it.


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