As daylight gathers, the sky goes from white to gray. A train whistle trailed by its rumble of freight. The distant propellers of a plane.

A squirrel tumbles out of the big maple and catches itself in the top of a locust sapling, tail wrapping around the branch like a fifth leg.

A few flakes come swirling out of the woods. A dried oak leaf lies on the porch floor like a sad umbrella or a mouse with too many legs.