January 2010

Walking naked through the cold house at dawn, I’m startled by a bright light among the trees on the western ridge: the moon, big as a banjo.

By dawn, the clear sky has given way to white, as if the full moon spilled over. If the clouds were a true cover, they’d trap more heat!

Cold dawn—a tree pops like a rifle. Nothing between here and the stars but the sunlight’s thickening mud. My windward cheek turns numb.

How much better than dealing with website woes, to sit out here and watch the snow swirl—a dance of a thousand veils backlit by the sun.

The ground is white again, a half-inch-thick pelt that must’ve formed in the small hours. The water’s monologue continues at a lower key.

An hour before dawn, whose footsteps are those on the hard crust of snow, first tiptoeing, then running about? Mice, I think. No: sleet.

How is it the stars, glittering as brightly as I’ve ever seen them, can begin to fade before the first perceptible lightening of the sky?

Day Six of the thaw, and the sound of running water dominates the pre-dawn darkness—still faintly illuminated by the threadbare snow.