Snowstorm. A cardinal sits atop a small tree, his red plumage almost glowing among the white branches. Two woodpeckers tap in and of sync.
Snowstorm. The porch, too, has been erased, except where some small bird’s meandering footprints have exposed the blood-colored floor.
Snowstorm. Two male cardinals meet on a white branch and stare at each other. A third red crest flashes in the woods: pileated woodpecker.
The steady fall of snow—still somehow mesmerizing. That flux leading to so much sameness. Sun glimmering faintly like a lost coin.
Something has left a line of black droppings on the porch beneath the railing. I watch them slowly disappear under a new blanket of snow.
Through driving snow, our neighbor is out plowing the road. The plow’s hydraulics whine like a sled dog. Tire chains scrabble at the ice.
From the valley, a wailing duet of fire sirens. Woodpeckers tap and listen, tap and listen, as the soft, light snow goes on falling.
The snowstorm slows down just after daybreak, as if drawing its breath. I hear my mother on her back porch yelling at the squirrels.
As the predicted snow begins, my parents’ bird feeders grow loud with chittering. An eddy of wind carries the distant snarl of a chainsaw.
Snow blowing sideways. A minute after I sweep it, the porch floor is white again. The blaze-orange vests of two hunters leaving the woods.