Steady rain. A phoebe snatches insects from the undersides of birch leaves, and in the distant drone of an airplane I hear news of the sun.
A broken-off locust limb held at a 45-degree angle by the black birches’ intricate crowns is thick enough to still wear a coat of snow.
Last night the air was warm, but the stars gleamed like steel. This morning it’s overcast and cold. New splashes of yellow in the birches.
The wind is out of the east, bringing routine news of violence to the pitted earth. A bare birch at the woods’ edge fills up with finches.
Yakety-yak on the porch, dee dee dee in the birches, and everywhere a drip drip drip drip drip: gray solstice morning.