Tag Archives: compassion

Priest Lake Woodpecker

woodpecker

A commotion arises

Sounds filter through the pines

A sense of urgency, panic, pain

Four frantic children yelling at their dogs

Spaniels after an injured bird

A ten-year old holding one back

Skin torn, flesh exposed, leg broken

The woodpecker had injured its leg badly

Attacked earlier by a raven or other animal

An elderly bird near journeys end

Two neighbors arrive and set calm to the panic

The retired logger speaks softly to the children

Tells them to leave the bird alone, in peace

That it will die later that day

He would have ended the bird’s misery as a younger man

Nearly seventy, he feels connected

He and the bird are both old and traveling the same path

He sees himself in its eyes, lacking the heart to end its life

The second neighbor is much younger, has yet to face his mortality

He has a kind spirit and comforts the bird

Transfers him to a cage in a darkened shed

There the bird rests quietly

Once proud and stately, climbing the tallest trees

Reduced now to an immobile heap of feathers

By late evening he is gone

Buried in the garden beneath his favorite tree