sunrise

Sunrise. A deer grazes at the woods’ edge. A phoebe perches beside her and makes repeated sorties over her back, snapping up the deerflies.

Fog glowing sunrise-orange. Sound is out of the east: traffic, freight trains, the crusher at the quarry. A chickadee sings both his songs.

The raspy call of a red-winged blackbird, rare visitor to the mountain. A lone Canada goose goes over, honking steadily. The sun comes up.

Sunrise, and seven species of birds are calling—but not the phoebe, who flies in and out of the old nest under the springhouse eaves.

Sunrise tints the clouds orange. I squint through eyelids made bleary with pink-eye and lack of sleep. A downy woodpecker’s soft rattle.

With the leaves half down, I can see inside the forest again: squirrels leaping from branch to branch, a ridgetop flock, the rising sun.

Sunrise stains the treetops. The woods are full of anxious-sounding calls: chipmunks, jays, nuthatches, an endlessly scolding squirrel…