Cold rain and fog. A flock of grackles wheels low over the house—the sudden waterfall sound of their wings all turning at once.
Sun gleams on the rain-damp leaf duff. In the blue sky, a grackle cackles. Blue jays jeer. The lilac limbs are beginning to blush green.
A silver-spotted skipper flies back and forth in front of the porch a dozen times. A grackle comes in croaking for a drink from the creek.
The crackle of a grackle. The boosterism of a rooster. The incessant cheer of a vireo. My ears take refuge in the creek, that labile Babel.
Momentary things: A chipmunk pressing the rain from its fur. The swaying of a branch from which a grackle has just taken flight.
The barberry bush above the stream is in bloom, demure rows of yellow bells that smell like sperm. A grackle flies up—his raspy call.
Each bird I see has something in its beak: wren—a streamer of dried grass, chickadee—a seed, towhee—a bundle of stalks, grackle—a millipede.
Two grackles appear at the woods’ edge, iridescent black against the brightest green of the year. In the garden, the first yellow iris.
Rising after daybreak, I search out scraps of darkness: a log sunk in the weeds, the rootball of a toppled tree, the sound of grackles.
A gray, cold morning. The rusty-hinge scolding of a squirrel multiplies and turns into a flock of grackles, pivoting on its thousand wings.