In media res

Out on my porch before first light, sipping my coffee, I think: If I were viewing these trees for the first time . . . & just like that they shift, turn strange. I’m looking back in time, at woods seen only once & apart from everything. But then a raccoon comes out of the culvert, moving stiff-legged in rapid circles on the icy crust, so much like a child’s wind-up toy, it’s hard not to laugh. After a few minutes he catches my scent. Rears up on his hind legs to get a better look.


Gray dawn. The chickadee stops in the middle of his feebee chant & drops half an octave.


I was out on the glare ice at noon; the moon was higher than the sun but completely invisible at the end of its monthly rope. The ground & the sky were like two smooth stones. In the spruce grove I found the carcass of a doe with her throat ripped open, a gash below her ribs where the succulent bud of a fawn had been folded by. A nuthatch was going tick tick tick in a locust tree. I kept to the ice so my boots didn’t squeak in the thin, here-&-there patches of dry powder. One patch was etched with lines of arrows that pointed toward wild turkeys – or rather, in the opposite direction. Crossing the field I had to squint, the blue veins reaching out from the edge & at the center a bright gash, a gaping hurt.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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