Only the shell left of what you once were,
you crawl away to let wings dry then lift off
to court another of your kind. You are
no creature of instant gratification.
Seventeen years you grew under our feet,
until, as if by some silent signal,
you burst forth, en masse.
Red-eyed, lace-winged, resilient sapsucker,
you transcend time and darkness
to emerge into the light.
With one final rent, you shed
that which held you captive.
Into a world that had all but forgotten you,
you move in a sensuous, undulating hymn,
singing halleluiah to life, halleluiah to love.
Sing halleluiah, sing.