Woodland Ragtime

The Jerry Lee Lewis woodpecker
attacks the same hollow tree
with the same aggressive beat
a rat-a-tat great balls of fire
while his more tentative counterpart
seems to test numerous trees
and a variety of rhythms
in the daily recital
of two morning pianists
in our backwoods

By Joyce Kessel


Red Bellied Woodpecker on tree branch

Joyce Kessel has three chapbooks: Secret Lives, Describing the Dark (Saddle Road Press, 2013) and Classroom Quixote (The Writer’s Den, 2015). Her poems have appeared on WNY metro busses, in Black Mountain II Review, Earth’s Daughters, WNY Poets, and Waging Words for Peace, cell2 soul and in kind of a hurricane press’ anthologies. Joyce is a member of Earth’s Daughters writing collective. She teaches creative writing and literature at Villa Maria College.

Photo by Charles Brutlag

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