From three directions, the white noise of water. A wet vole scuttles down the walk and disappears under the porch.
A break between showers—enough for the ground almost to dry out and the clouds almost to break. The red-winged blackbird clears his throat.
So much song from a single robin perched 80 feet up in a black locust! Down below, juncos comb through the prone stiltgrass for seeds.
My seed order has arrived, so on a cold, wet morning I’m not seeing the yard but a fenced and edible paradise—that dream of my youth.
A gray day. My fever broken, I notice that the red maple down along the woods’ edge that had blossomed too soon two weeks ago is bare again.
Rain mingled with the ticking of sleet. The early daffodils cluster together, heads nodding, like youths defying a social-distancing order.
The sky unscarred by a single contrail is as blue as I’ve ever seen it. A hawk spirals higher and higher, unthreading gravity’s screw.
Each day the silence grows a little deeper. My self-isolating mother stops on her way past to pick a bouquet of just-opened daffodils.
Above the roar of the creek, the first phoebe, phoebe, phoebe. Harlequin ladybirds are emerging from the walls of the house and flying off.
The rain eases off by midday but the cowbird at the top of a tall black locust tree continues to spill his single, liquid note.