The first frost fades under a white sky. I’m noticing how at a distance even a sound like the banging of a hammer becomes a sort of music.
Heavy frost, and the bare dirt in the garden has crystallized into icy turrets. Motes of snow float past, backlit by the sun. Robin song.
Sun glimmers through thin clouds, the ground is hazy with frost, and me trying to blink the sleep from my eyes. A nuthatch’s anxious call.
Blue overhead, and the frost so heavy, it looks like a light snow. From the barnyard, the voices of hunters returning with their first kill.
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.