Black lace of branches against the sky. When the wind stops, the thick smoke of my breath blocks my view. A tree pops, loud as a rifle shot.

More fresh snow—or is this the wind’s work? My house is empty again. The night is loud with trains carrying coal and corn syrup.

I sweep snow off my chair, then look up to see the crescent moon appearing and disappearing behind the clouds. Trees creaking in the dark.

A fresh dusting of snow since midnight, and more flakes in the air. The windows vibrate with the snoring of a late-night reveler.

Rose-tinged feathers puffed out against the fresh snow, the mourning doves look delicious! Their wingbeats are a marriage of fife and drum.

Two squirrels chasing around the trunk of a tulip poplar so quickly, I swear there’s a third. Whose tail is whose? Which one is in heat?

I am blocking on common bird calls—with each sneeze I forget another name. Behind the trees, the sky is white and gold, blue and gray.