Laughingstock is more like it.
We traipsed up and down the Constance duPont Darden trail in the Piney Grove Preserve, Sussex County, Virginia, on the hot second day of July, hoping to spot at least one of 42 red-cockaded woodpeckers that are said to inhabit this long-leaf pine forest as Virginia’s rarest bird. I played the bird’s call over and over on my Android phone but not one member of that endangered species answered me.
The cat sleeps in a stupor of tuneful breezes
loaded with wind chimes and finches’ chat,
waking from time to time to lick a stripe or scratch
a twitch, then spills itself again on Laura’s setee,
too drunk to mind the brawling crows or pounding
from the woodshop where my daughter is making
a dollhouse and sweats as she rasps her plank
or labors with a back saw.
Sometimes she mars the wood and has to start over,
for faith, she learns, weighs more than force
in the art of getting it right, her dream house.
A wren flits back and forth building a nest
in the beams, in the pine-sweet air
where spending oneself is sleep bursting open.
(in What a Light Thing, This Stone)