When I roll by on my bicycle
my noise is too small and random
to register as threat.
The gopher tortoise by the sandy road home
Doesn't flinch until I am some yards by.
I round the house, pedaling to the back shed, and
A pileated is on the ground, working a stump.
I watch him as I coast by, nearly bump a tree, swerve.
Only then does his magically red crest
swing up and his vast obsidian wings lift.

Tomorrow something will scare me.
I will react in fear and flinch or fly
From some beast-machine already past and receding.

Gainesville, 2009.04

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