For Platt, my brother.

There was one bump on the glass and before I could look at what could have caused it there was a second bump on glass. A flock of dead birds was what I saw before I saw the flicker. Tangled up in the old hose like a discarded Christmas ornament, his red red head lying down, nothing in his startling black and white plumage moving, in fact nothing moving except an eye. I could see only his right eye. Blink blink blink it never stopped blinking until it did.

Then I gave in to sorrow.

But within he turned on his legs to if not greet me, at least to face me. His neck turned on its axis and looked around. I tapped on the window, fingernails mimicking a Flicker searching for insects on our house.

His flaming head followed my sound. He jumped on the side of the house, began to search the shingles, came up with a nut and flew his pinwheel flurry past me, the hose, the knockout, the worry, up to his tree. His mate, his appetite. His life.