Jen, come look at this.
            What is that?
A woodpecker.
            That thing’s huge—like a raccoon! Why’s it on the ground?
Grubs.
            What is it with the grubs?
*
            So that bird we saw this morning was really a northern flicker.
How’d you find out?
            I Google-imaged “woodpeckers.” Flickers are in the woodpecker family.
Big dude.
            Huge!
*
So that bird we saw this morning was really Bobby.
            Our Bobby? Bobby who left a broken boat in our driveway for a
            year Bobby?
Yeah, I Google-imaged “flicker” and apparently Bobby’s in the flicker
family, too.
            Why didn’t he tell us? I would’ve cooked him grubs!
He told us not with words but with his bobbing in the grass, his changing shape,
and the furious red feathers on his head.
            Sounds like a lot of work!
                  I inhale an epic breath and try to change my shape into a
                  woodpecker, er, flicker, er, Bobby by pushing the air against the
                  inside of my face. Colors, glitter, tiny neon bubbles swirl then link
                  together behind my eyes…I come to on the floor.

            Did I make it?
No, but what did you see?
            Grubs!


Jennifer L. Knox is the author of four books of poems. Her work has appeared four times in The Best American Poetry series as well as in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and American Poetry Review. The Los Angeles Book Review said of her most recent book, Days of Shame & Failure, ‘”This panopoly of twenty-first century American human experience leaves the reader a different person.” She teaches poetry writing at Iowa State University and is currently at work on a culinary memoir. Jennifer is also the proprietor of Saltlickers, a small-batch, artisanal spice company.

Featured image via Pexels.

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