A gray squirrel sits motionless for several minutes on the topmost crook of a fallen limb. Then like a diver it plunges into the snow.
Clear and cold at dawn, with a crescent moon tangled in the treetops. A tiny white prayer flag flutters from a branch: some vacant cocoon.
With each new snowfall the ground grows more uniform, our footprints grow harder to read, and cries die quickly, as in a soundproofed room.
A titmouse lands on a snowy branch and puffs out the white down on its breast. From above the spring, a chickadee’s two-note song: hey ho.
Sparrow tracks in the thin snow under my chair: I see dandelion seeds on the wind. The house shivers all over when the furnace kicks on.
Clear at sunrise, and so cold the mucous freezes in my nostrils. Trees pop at random intervals. A good day to be a black bear, fast asleep.
Leaf-sized shards of snow sail out of the woods. The black cat wallows up to her chest, pausing every few steps to shake one of her legs.
Bright moonlight, bitter cold. The wind has erased all footprints, and the creaking tree has changed its tune to a dry ah… ah… ah…
Come crow and save us from a world without shadows, white as a motel towel, a rented room, the coats of orderlies in a home for the insane.
The moon comes out, and there’s the rabbit, crouching next to the lilac. It races across the driveway and disappears into the cattails.