Once again, the world changes....
I step out into the crackling white world, intent on shoveling a bit of path for myself, my neighbors. Ice-coated branches rattle together like shiny bones. I trudge up the hill to remove frozen treachery from behind and in front of the car, handily parked for a quick exit into slush and slime. The empty spot in front of me is extra long, testifying to D.-across-the-street's van having been in recent occupation. A bit of salt in a pile towards the front is stained red, and a scarlet trail leads away from the spot of naked pavement, as though the van bled as it moved.
A horde of crows congregate in a cherry tree, waiting, waiting, waiting. There will be no salt truck down our road, no plow truck, and presumably, no garbage truck. I did not think crowes had collective consciousness: could these, then, be the same crows from last year, with more memory than I would have credited them with having, waiting for garbage uncollected on our street?
Cat prints trail around my feet, in a straight line, one print identical to the others, in a line, a chain, like pearls strung along a cord. The bushes wink at me, crystal coral formations in the yard.