A tangle of tracks in the yard: rabbit, cat, squirrel, mouse… I’m not picturing a children’s book, but each creature fearful and alone.
Mid-morning and the trees are starting to shed their latest coat of snow. A pileated woodpecker, too, comes loose, and flaps off cackling.
An icy wind; the ground has regained its white quilt. It’s as if the thaw never happened—except for the odd leaf skittering across the snow.
Rain has erased the snow. High in a black locust, a squirrel is biting off twigs and carrying them into a crotch, building a bed of thorns.
Mackerel clouds above then across the sun like a face consumed by worry lines. The caws of a crow echo off the thawed and refrozen hillside.
Cold snap over, fine snow falls—accompanied by the roar of traffic, as if all noise this past week had frozen solid and now is thawing out.
A squirrel in the treetops pauses before it leaps, gazing, and loses its nerve. Below, bars of sunlight stretch across the pale blue ground.