Laser Bird
(Colaptes auratus, northern flicker)

Echoing there, on the verge of the woods, a sound straight out of science fiction. A lonely Endor laser blast, cutting through the gloom of the real 21st century, the real and depressing future. Perhaps he knows he is declining, as the second-growth pines of the south are plowed under for ever more condos. Perhaps he knows that his kind may never see a future like the one hinted at in their calls. Or perhaps he knows it is easier to fade away like a strange sound echoing in the woods. When we see him, rarely, he is on the ground. Silent. A ersatz pigeon, with nothing to link him to the fading call we hear every so often on the wind from the woods.

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