February 2010

A cacophony of crows, doves, cardinal, titmouse, nuthatch, woodpecker, squirrel, locomotive, all amid the silent carpet-bombing of the snow.

The high winds have stopped, but who knows how much snow has fallen? An apple core tossed into the yard for the deer disappears with a thud.

The snow-plastered chairs are huddled at the end of the porch like sheep, and the end-table has lost its top. I pull two hoods over my hat.

A large red blot has blossomed on the garden’s snow. I find tufts of silky brown fur and three drops of blood in a line toward the woods.

That metronome-like sound—could it possibly be a chipmunk? I cup hands to my ears: no, it’s just slow meltwater. But the clock is ticking.

The nasal call of a jay became the soundtrack of happiness one sun-drenched afternoon of my childhood. The place is gone now—a subdivision.

Late morning, and the gray gives way to deepest blue. Treetops clack like rib-bone castanets, gleaming in the sun.

Bright midmorning. Among the shadows in my yard, one patch of light that’s almost barren of sparkles: reflection from a second-story window.