snow

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.

Bright sun, bitter wind. With the snow almost gone, the neighbors’ chickens must be out of their coop: the rooster crows and crows.

Sunlight at half-strength on the half-gone snow. Behind the house, a squirrel twists and rubs itself ecstatically against a rotten stump.

Wet snow clings to every branch and twig, making the forest look almost as inviting as it does in early May when the leaves are half open.

Bitter cold with a wind. I sit with feet propped up as usual while snowflakes needle my cheek and pile up behind the ridges in my jeans.

Silence has descended along with the snow—6 inches so far—save for the rumble of snowplows. A squirrel walks on the dry underside of a limb.

Four inches of wet snow clinging to every branch is almost all shaken down in one great blast of wind. The cardinal never stops singing.