White bars of frost where shadows span the yard. I listen to the roar of the nearby quarry, outpost of a Republican money machine.
Below the porch, a dot of pink: a very late dame’s-rocket blooming the day after a hard frost. A brown creeper inspects a small walnut tree.
Now that summer’s past, the cardinal has gone back to harassing her reflection. The frost-whitened myrtle bed. A barberry turned to flame.
I stroll down into the yard to examine grass blades outlined by the first, patchy frost, accompanied by my coffee’s pillar of steam.
The latched door beneath the porch stands ajar. I step gingerly through the frost-edged blades of grass, carrying my coffee like a lamp.
For a half-hour after moonset, the sky is perfectly empty, the ground is still white. Then through the bare trees, this blemish of a sun.
A patch of silver in the yard: first frost. A jet glints in the rising sun, its short contrail twice as bright as the crescent moon.