Cold and overcast. Snowflakes almost too light to fall wander like miniature spacecraft reconnoitering in advance of a full-scale invasion.
The rooster’s call is still all wrong—despairing rather than jubilant. An airplane engine drops in pitch as it fades into the distance.
The slow, silent drift of a contrail. Juncos silhouetted by the sun have silver linings, a fact of which they must surely be oblivious.
A persistent knocking from inside the tall cherry stump. I walk around it: a downy woodpecker’s wingtip protrudes from a roosting hole.
In the weak sun, a violent sneeze possesses me. It echoes off the hillside, sets a squirrel to scolding. A pileated woodpecker drums.
The sky is clearing, the low-angled, mid-morning sun illuminating the woods for minutes at a time. Finches in the birches. A distant raven.
The hillside crowd of trees swaying and churning. In the gray sky, blue wounds open. I can hear my mother shouting a greeting to the sun.