juncos

In a lull between showers, a squirrel re-buries a freshly disinterred walnut. Juncos sing as they forage, preparing for their journey north.

Bitter wind. A small privet bush bends under the weight of six juncos, then two titmice, then three waxwings, each feasting on its berries.

Cold and still, with a bright smudge of sun. A white-throated sparrow joins a junco in the dried stiltgrass, burrowing into it like a vole.

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

Steady rain; the frost in the windows has turned to fog. Juncos move through the weeds like a human crowd, a mix of the bold and the timid.

The whisper of sleet falling on sleet. A snowbird bursts from under my chair where it must’ve been foraging and joins the rest of the flock.

‪I have to wipe the fog off my chair before I can sit. After a while, it begins to rain. In the dead meadow weeds, a commentary of sparrows.‬