Aberdeen, Maryland, to New York City, March 29, 2015 – The Awl

★★★Thethermometerontheglassofthekitchendoorsaid32degreeswhentheseven-year-oldgotboosteduptoreadit。

Shiningicelayinthejunctionwherethetributarycountryroadcurvedtomeetthemarginallylargerstemroad。

Moreicesatinthefloodedpartsofthestubbledfields,whichwerecolorlessastheleaflesstreesbetweenthem。

Thelumpinthetopofthethree-year-old’shatcontainedhisgloves;hishands,clutchingtheirpalmfronds,werecold。

Thedaffodilsinthebedalongsidethestonechurchweredroopingover。

Backbythehouse?

—?

39degreesnow?

—?

squirrelsdugthroughtheseedhullsscatteredbelowthebirdfeeders,infrontofthebedofsnowdrops。

Nuthatchesandtitmiceandchickadeescameandwent,andgoldfinchesthecolorofparchment。

ACooper’shawk,twitchingbalefully,commandeeredalowbranchforaminute,thenflewofftowardthegaragewithorwithoutsomethingclutchedinonefoot。

Thelittlebirdsresumedtheirfeeding。

Thesunfallingthroughthenear-closedblindsmadethewaterinthetoiletshinelikealampinthedimness。

Forty-sixdegreesafterlunch,atcar-loadingtime。

EverythinginthedrablengthofNewJerseywassharp-drawnanddistinct,saveonlythefirmnewroadwaydissolvingaheadintoamirageofskyandcarpaint。

VultureswereasabundantasTurnpikeexits,nakedheadsvisibleat70milesanhour,giveortake。

Therewasnothingremotelyresemblingacloud;alighthazewassalientbydefault。

Thebulgeofthegibbousmoonseemedtogrowfatterasitcameintofocus。

Treesandbalconiesgleamedinthecity。

Thelayerofdustontheunwashedapartmentwindowswascopperyinthe?