A sound and its echo – by JOSÉ L. RECIO

I had heard the thump-thump-thump
Sound as an echo from its distant source.
Before I reached the curve; before
A rattlesnake sneaked across the trail,
Lifting her head in front of my feet
As if looking for something to eat;
Before my dog pulled away from me
At the sound and sight of a creek,
Wishing to wade, cool his paws, and drink;
Before California poppies showed up
Among the cracks of the big rocks,
And blackbirds squawked over our heads;
Even before the shadows marked noon,
And I dabbed the sweat off my forehead
With the sleeves of my t-shirt,
I had heard the thump-thump-thump


Then, at the curve, I heard it again,
Clear and neat, like in a ‘C major’ scale.
I looked toward its source and saw the bird,
Perched on the rough surface of a branch,
Some ten feet to the side of the trail:
Wings and tail green like an apple-leaf,
The silver of a poplar tree on its breast,
And a red, ink-like blot on top of its head.


“I know who you are,” I gazed at it and said
—My dog gazed at me as if I had meant him.
“I’ve seen you before, walking on these trails
With your dog,” I fancied I would have heard
Should the bird know how to use words.
“What’s going on with that bough?” I probed,
And his perfectly round eye looked at me:
“I’ve work to do. You guys leave me alone,”
I guessed the woodpecker meant to say.
I got my act together, beckoned my dog,
And we kept hiking on the same pathway.



José L. Recio

José L. Recio Ha publicado 40 entradas.

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