And so the snow again. Hare is not quite white; brindled he bounds in light distances an unsure vision off. Partridge breaks from bush in heavy blur and whir of straining wings, big-bodied, barely rising. Year-round crows flap flatly, while jays crackle in the fir. A chipmunk flickers on the barnside gray. Another early winter day. We did not leave again, with swallows, hummingbird and hawk; we said we would. We said the time had come to slip the knot of rural ways, spin in, trailing clay and hay, to some big city's core, to stored conveniences, sophisticated talk and canyoned drives and walking. We could have. We could have. Produce grown and gathered; farm repairs and small despairs, and pleasures in our known but never constant land and sea and sky. . . . And time gambols in the snow again.