gray squirrel

Rain. A squirrel crouches atop a maple burl, gray fur almost invisible against the gray bark, curled tail like a snake poised to strike.

Gray things: a squirrel and a titmouse sharing a gray limb. A catbird in the road swallowing gray stones. Large parts of the sky.

Heard but not seen: two blue jays commenting on the woods below. Seen but not heard: two gray squirrels sneaking under the house.

Sun! A gray squirrel noshes on black walnut catkins, then drops deliberately to a thin locust branch five feet below and clings, see-sawing.

Quiet except for a distant plane. A pair of squirrels race nose-to-tail through the yard, slowing only when they clamber through the lilac.

In the soft light of a half-hidden sun, the old red maple beside the road is ruddy with blossoms. The sound of teeth chiselling a walnut.

The sun shines through gauzy clouds, giving the morning a faded-photo effect. A squirrel drinks from the stream. A cowbird’s liquid note.