Holes in the clouds by late morning. Field sparrows trill almost non-stop. My mother says she can smell my coffee way up in the woods.
Sticky and warm. A clink of ice in my coffee startles up a deer, her tan coat passing in front of a cloud of blossoming mountain laurel.
The dawn sky turns salmon. Down by the stream, the hollow cough of a deer. A swig of coffee and I’m off to count birds before the rain.
Coffee in my left hand, I weed the herb bed with my right, muttering at the clover: out with you, foul sweetener! as my fingers turn black.
Dawn: a thin band of vivid pink. I glance down at my coffee, and when I look back it’s gone, the sky’s gray. A titmouse’s monotonous song.
I stroll down into the yard to examine grass blades outlined by the first, patchy frost, accompanied by my coffee’s pillar of steam.
Coffee mug in one hand, I’m weeding stiltgrass from the herb bed. Such a delicate invader, so easy to kill! And yet so tough to eradicate.
The soft trills of a screech owl an hour before dawn. I sip my coffee as quietly as I can.
Out earlier than usual, it takes me much too long to understand why the cloudy sky is darker than the snow. Black coffee, enlighten me!
Finishing my coffee, I walk to the edge of the porch and stop short: the western horizon is a dark battleship gray, an anti-sunrise.
The latched door beneath the porch stands ajar. I step gingerly through the frost-edged blades of grass, carrying my coffee like a lamp.
The misty sunrise puts me in a Hallmark mood: Roses are brown,/ violets, long dead./ This coffee is bitter/ and goes straight to my head.
Quiet except for the wail of an eastbound freight: Grazierville. Tyrone. Plummer’s Hollow. Then wind and darkness, coffee bitter in my cup.
The wind has smashed my chair, so I carry my coffee up behind the barn to watch the woodcock circling in the dawn sky. A satellite flares.