August 2010

Three small flies gather on the top railing, wandering back and forth on the straight white road like lost commuters. Today will be hot.

A gray squirrel nibbles on tansy leaves—how odd!—then comes onto the porch and stares at me from two feet away with dark unreadable eyes.

As the plane fades in the distance, they return: a towhee, two lethargic vireos, a chipmunk’s water-drip-steady clucks, the garden cricket.

Cloudless at sunrise except for my puffs of breath. A junco with bright new plumage flies out of the woods and veers past my face, chirping.

The sound of deer running through the woods, and from over the ridge, that highway whine: we race through the deserts of our own making.

A lone cedar waxwing sits on the topmost branch of the dead elm, wheezing his high thin call as the sky’s deepest blue fades to daylight.

Overcast and quiet except for a red-eyed vireo and a male goldfinch, whose head is already beginning to turn green, like rusting bronze.