Dawn. A phoebe and a cardinal are singing in the rain. At the woods’ edge, the last patch of snow has shrunk to the size of a hubcap.
A few degrees above freezing on a day forecast to be warm, and the air is already busy with flying things: insects, milkweed down, a phoebe.
Snow is gone from the north side of the springhouse roof; the stream has a whole new range of notes. Up by the barn, a phoebe is calling.
A sunny morning foreclosed upon by leaden clouds. The phoebe continues to rant from atop a black walnut sapling, marking time with his tail.
Above the roar of the creek, the first phoebe, phoebe, phoebe. Harlequin ladybirds are emerging from the walls of the house and flying off.
The dead are restless, through no fault of their own: last year’s leaves shuffled about by the wind. But the sun is strong. A phoebe calls.
The big dead elm has collapsed into the stream, its rain-slick bole broken in two places. A drenched phoebe hawks insects in the grass.
Rain from a named storm seems special, like strands of hair from someone famous. Two spring peepers are calling, and faintly, the phoebe.
A phoebe lands on a branch and flicks his tail, not fooled by the passing resemblance of scattered, zigzagging snowflakes to flying insects.
On the first morning of my married life, the sky is as blue as it gets. Phoebe, rooster, bluebird. The sparkle of frost gives way to sheen.