Last night’s wet snow sticks here and there—blank spaces on the wind’s map. One of the 50-odd bergamot heads still wears a toque blanche.
A squirrel tunnels into the icy snow. I hear my neighbor walking to his truck a quarter mile away. Inside, all the clocks are blinking.
There must be open water in the ditch: jay- and sparrow-shaped silhouettes are going up and down the dogwood’s laddered branches.
Sky and ground are the same flat white. I hear my mother at her bird feeder yelling Go! Go! Go! Go! as a squirrel bounds over the icy crust.
Dim sun. Trunks and branches still sheathed in ice glisten, surrounded by duller companions like glitterati on the streets of New York.
A thin snowdrift has taken refuge on the porch, covering all but the outermost foot. My old broom sheds pieces of straw with every pass.
The rain has stopped; the forest cracks and crashes. Fallen branches ring the dead cherry, each bearing a row of broken teeth.
The sleet whose ticking woke me at 6:00 has stopped. Five degrees below freezing. I stick out my arm and hear raindrops hitting my sleeve.