A yellow gash appears in the clouds to the east and heals up again. The cardinal attacks his reflection. Military jets howl over, unseen.
Steady rain. The cardinal makes two sorties against his reflection in the window and retreats to the shelter of the cedar tree.
The cardinal attacks his reflection then sings in triumph. The Cooper’s hawk skulks out of the woods like a ninja. Today I’m the cardinal.
The cardinal whose doppelganger lives in the upstairs window taps twice and flies off—just going through the motions. I sneeze at the sun.
The sun’s slow fadeout. Two male cardinals travel together to the stream and back again—flashes of color in an increasingly monochrome yard.
Snow fine as fingerprint powder; it’s almost zero. Two cardinals and a jay in the crabapple tree wait their turn to drink from the spring.
In the red center of a berry-laden barberry bush, a male cardinal turns all about, gorging. When he flies, so much of its red goes with him.
Cold as a well under a deep blue sky torn by the distant roar of military jets. The morning singers carry on: cardinal, song sparrow, robin.
Cold and gloomy, but the yard seethes with birds: juncos, cardinals, wren. A hundred yards away, a hawk sits on a limb, bedeviled by crows.
Another wintry morning, and I’m marveling at the sharpness of the air in my lungs, the sun in my face, the blue sky, the cardinal’s song.