February 2009

Quiet at mid-morning. The sun’s a faint smudge. I hear a caroling from inside the house: a friend calling to tell me it’s snowing there.

Back to brown, except for the ribbon of snow left by the plow. The hungry cat creeping across the yard freezes at every rustle of the wind.

Fog drifts through the woods where rain has reduced the snow to archipelagos. Overhead the clouds, too, are breaking up. Low-flying geese.

Warm and windy. I’ve been staring at the same dim star for five minutes now. The roaring on the ridge drowns out every other sound.

1°F. A breeze feels as sharp as the studded rim of the sun rising through the trees. The call of a cardinal like an engine trying to start.

At first light, some large animal crunching through the snowpack at the woods’ edge. It slows, stops. I wait for daybreak: nothing there.

At half-light, small explosions of wings and twittering from around the side of the house as birds leave their roosts in the cedar tree.

Tracks left yesterday morning have grown blurry and distended. Every weed and grass stem is a bull’s-eye at the center of a pit.