The last patch of snow lies like a crumpled piece of litter at the woods’ edge. The dog licks up the weeks-old remains of her own bile.
A squirrel leaps out of a tree, falls 20 feet to the ground and runs off. The dog stares mournfully at a pool of bile she’s just thrown up.
Saturday sounds from down-ridge: crows, a chainsaw snarling and muttering, a pack of dogs—or is it wild geese, somewhere above the clouds?
Snowflakes land on the dog’s thick brown fur and take a long time to melt. I begin to look differently at the brown, snow-dusted hillside.
Cold and still under a flat white sky. Then calls of chickadees, excited about the least thing. A Carolina wren pops up to scold the dog.
Distant church bells ringing the 8:00 o’clock hour—the Christian call to work. The dog stands up to have another sniff at the porch floor.
Cold and quiet. An argument between nuthatches is picked up and amplified by a pileated woodpecker. The old dog farts in a patch of sun.