cottontail

Sunny and warm. A rabbit emerges from its burrow to graze on dead grass. Chickadees singing “fee-bee” are interrupted by an actual phoebe.

Yesterday’s melting has turned old footprints from pits into little hills. New tracks are muddy brown, fading out by the middle of the yard.

Shrunk in the cold, the porch floorboards pop loudly when I come out. In my snowshoe tracks below the porch, a scattering of rabbit pellets.

Branches skinned by rabbits, yellow as fresh bones, are starting to emerge from the snowpack. Light rain on my glasses turns my view to blear.

The snow shovel lies supine, fresh snow in its scoop. Wind-blown icicle drips dot the squirrel and rabbit tracks with random punctuation.

Cold, with a slow but steady snowfall. The immobile silhouette of a rabbit, ears erect, resembling nothing so much as a quarter note.

At the woods’ edge, a jumble of bone-white sticks: spicebush branches debarked by rabbits. A gray blur where a titmouse grooms in the lilac.

Sometime in the night, the rabbit ventured out for a quick snack on lilac bark. Its tracks are half buried by still more snow.

As my father walks out of the woods, a rabbit bursts from a rosebush and dashes under the porch. A zebra spider circles the rim of my mug.

Where rabbits take shelter under the lilac, several limbs have been de-barked near the ground, bone-yellow against the crust of snow.

Early morning sounds like spring, with cardinals, titmice and song sparrows tuning up. A rabbit stands on its hind legs to reach lilac buds.

The sky is mangy, with blue patches showing through, and the yard is leprose with tracks. A rabbit twitches under the deer-ravaged rosebush.