chipmunks

Colder than yesterday, but the last bones of snow still didn’t survive the night. A chipmunk takes fright, tail up like an exclamation mark.

Chickadees twittering back and forth in the birches. In the snow beside my chair, the small, intricately clawed tracks of a chipmunk.

‪So many chipmunks are racing about at the woods’ edge that after watching them for a while, I begin to feel itchy. A crow clears its throat.‬

‪Weak sunlight. Dead leaves are all a-rustle, rummaged through by squirrels, voles, chipmunks, juncos. The distant cry of a maybe killdeer.‬

Chipmunks coming into heat chase each other over the bright, melting snow. I recall that their name comes from the Ojibwe for “headlong.”

Sunny and cold. A chipmunk’s awake, racing over the snow at the woods’ edge. Icicles fall from the roof and shatter with a festive tinkling.