The birds eating seeds on the back steps of the other house all fly at once, the rush of wings like a dovetail shuffle of cards.

The sun behind a wash of cirrus seems almost approachable: a bonfire, the eye of a wolf. All the small birds of winter calling at once.

Fresh snow curls in a graceful wave behind each tire of the first car to go down the driveway. Minutes later, the whine of a car in reverse.

Tickticktick—sleet slipping through the forest’s net of twigs. Grains with no hourglass, a rush order for all who dream of the beach.