I stand with an unfocused stare
at the ground and the bleeding bird
surprised by my aim and the weight
of the gun pulling down my right arm
surprised by the woman who runs
from the porch at the front of her house.
I saw you she says through the tears
in her throat as she points at my feet
where the woodpecker lies.
I saw you she says looking down
at her wrinkled bare feet
through a gap in her pale spotted hands.
I saw you she says looking up
at the hole in the pine tree
the red-crested father had bored
while she listened and watched and
smiled through the first weeks of spring.
I retreat to a home full of ignorant faces
to a lunch of sweet tea and the cold
meat of birds while deep in some pastoral
hell the bleats of unseen lambs echo
and King David remembers Bathsheba.