May 2009

A squirrel running on the roof above my head: the rhythm of hoofbeats in the paintings of horses from when they were still thought to bound.

A chipmunk appears on the flat stone beside the porch and stares at me as I hum Shostokovich, its cheeks bulged wide as Dizzy Gillespie’s.

After decades of segregation by color, the irises in my garden seem to have interbred: beside the porch, yellow petals with purple wings.

Pale bones of the dead elm, standing at the edge of the yard like an emissary from Lent amidst a Mardi Gras of green, reach into fog.

Fog. The ants who tend the peony buds have been replaced by drops of water—all but one, who moves slow as an astronaut on a strange planet.

Soft taps from a burdock leaf under the drip line: it’s raining. A rose-breasted grosbeak drops into the springhouse marsh to get a drink.

Heavy traffic on the driveway: a baby bunny races back and forth, followed by a strolling pair of catbirds and a robin’s methodical hop.