tree sparrow

High winds. The chairs huddle together at the end of the porch. Oak trees rattle; the pines roar. A sparrow flies into the wind, chittering.

A light smear of sun in the Monday gray. Birds stir in the tall cedar beside the house: the chip chip of a junco; a tree sparrow’s tseet.

The only spots of bare earth are in the plowed driveway. When I stand up, they erupt in wings, seeding the snowy yard with brown sparrows.

Overcast and cold. An agitation of nuthatches at the edge of the woods, and somewhere beyond, the thin, high whistle of a tree sparrow.

There must be open water in the ditch: jay- and sparrow-shaped silhouettes are going up and down the dogwood’s laddered branches.

A titmouse lands in the cherry, the streak in his breast the same rust as a tree sparrow’s cap, a broomsedge stem, these icicles at sunrise.