Anna Ramirez, “Woodpecker”


Copyright Gerry Gomez

© Gerry Gomez

by Anna Ramirez

A woodpecker landed in our tree

About ten past three.


I watched as he pecked at the tree,

He flew away when he saw me.

And then I went and I checked,

Oh yes, I checked where he pecked,

But not a spot on the bark had been marked by that bird!

Yes, I know it sounds absurd,

But there was not a single trace on the tree where the woodpecker pecked,

I know it, I checked!

But for the life of me

I could not hardly see

A sore or a scratch

From that woodpecker’s pecking match!


And I wondered if time had spotted me,

And stopped, when I was looking at that tree.

Because, what seemed three minutes to me to feel

Was far enough for an old tree to heal.

Or, perhaps a lapse in my judgment was the err,

I searched the tree here, I searched the bark there.

I could not see a mark, it was like the tree did not care.


And where I had thought the woodpecker pecked through the skin,

I saw nothing but smoothness, he was unable to get in.

The woodpecker did not come back,

But I wonder if he wonders the futility of his attack.

The ineffectiveness, the waste, it seemed,

Memories the only thing gleaned.

For either party, there was no token,

Not a mark or a tear, and the only thing broken…


…appears to be me, pondering myself as a woodpecker and life as a tree.


Anna Ramirez is nineteen years old and has lived in the Santa Ynez Valley her whole life. Growing up, her favorite hobby was always reading, and now she loves to fly airplanes or spend time with her family when she doesn’t have her head stuck in a book!




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