black currants

The wild black currants are succumbing to their usual wilt—an extra shadow eating them from the inside as the stream gurgles between them.

The black currants are in full leaf, squat from their winter’s pruning by the deer. Down-hollow, a hen turkey yelping, a tom gobbling back.

Sunny and warm. A goldfinch drops down among the black currant bushes with their half-open leaves to dip her bill into the sky-blue stream.

Two degrees below freezing. Juncos bathe in the creek, darting into the currant bushes to groom. A house finch’s labyrinthine cadenza.

A mink hunts in the creek-side meadow, weaving through currant bushes where juncos bathe and groom, neither paying attention to the other.

Mist thickens into drizzle; the phoebe falls silent. Under the deer-ravaged black currant bushes, slick black rocks where the stream begins.

The green blush deepens on the hillside; shining motes of pollen speckle my laptop screen. A crow flaps up from the black currant bushes.