woodpecker of the denser woods
has found way to a river.
sets sights upon a black canoe
sets heart upon the dither
some lady, in her day,
she held the lamb’s wool to her throat,
she beckoned for the lord
she drained his dry (of house and boat)

she tucked beneath a shallow bed
a chest of coin and flutter
some dollars for a man
who kept her hock heart
‘neath the rudder.
she wriggled neath the lord
could barely hold face to his nose -
t’was speckled red, bulbous,
to his caress the bile rose
(under duress the bile dove)

merely tales! for now she is
mule coloured in her hair,
is not about her shoulders
but is pinned against the air.
the woodpecker, he starts as she
removes a straw brimmed hat
and shakes the bangs
from orange pins
and slides the oars aback.

she paddles to the middle
where a dark dwell lies below.
she wobbles, crisply cackles
and she’s standing in the boat.
hitches long skirts high above
her knobby, knuckle knees.
tilts a toothless grin towards the sky
and mocks the seas,
to which this lolling river
will eventually become,
the whirlpool of her labours
and the death bed of her sons.

woodpecker, you have not the means
to keep decrepit boats.
so bat your wispy wings
and let the heavy bodies float.

(and to the lighter bodies, go)