Cold rain and fog. A flock of grackles wheels low over the house—the sudden waterfall sound of their wings all turning at once.

Thick fog, and the road gray with sleet that fell in the night. Three red-bellied woodpeckers are whinnying back and forth in the treetops.

A flock of Canada geese somewhere in the clouds like a ghost army led by rusty bugles. A speeding white car emerges from the fog.

Cold rain is once again erasing the snow. Off in the fog, the neighbor’s rooster crows like a conquistador laying claim to the bare ground.

Fog blurs the distinction between white ground and white sky. The distant drum roll of a pileated woodpecker followed by a patter of rain.

‪The clouds that settled in yesterday haven’t lifted, their slow drift barely perceptible through the shifting clarity of the trees.‬

Fog like a soundproof room. As always, the dead cherry’s five splayed stumps are giving the middle finger to the road—to whatever comes.