After a warm night, half the lilac’s leaves are brown and curling. What is it about warmth this time of year that makes it so debilitating?
A squirrel places a walnut in a small high crotch in the lilac and departs, like the Andrew Goldsworthy of squirrels. A junco lands, looks.
Halfway up the ridge, a dangling oak limb broken by last month’s snowstorm suddenly crashes to the ground, still clinging to its leaves.
The latched door beneath the porch stands ajar. I step gingerly through the frost-edged blades of grass, carrying my coffee like a lamp.
Shadows of bare branches on the stark white side of my house like a portent of winter. A flock of 13 geese splits, re-forms, makes a U-turn.
I hear the grunting of a buck in rut, but see only a grown fawn chasing a doe. As they pass below the porch, I hear the bleat in his voice.
Two decades of porch-sitting, and I still can’t shake the illusion that my feet are propped on the railing of a ship that never leaves port.
Nothing of note this morning, I’m tempted to say. But even the random arrangement of walnut leaf ribs on the red floorboards is beautiful.
For a half-hour after moonset, the sky is perfectly empty, the ground is still white. Then through the bare trees, this blemish of a sun.
A small flock of sparrows scudding above the trees in tight formation is caught by the early sun—daylight saved over from last March.