★★★★ The driveway was cool and dry underfoot. The children had not waited, with their own shoes secured, on anyone else's footwear before they bolted out into the morning. The trees overhead framed an open patch of blue, brushed with white. The toddler dragged a plastic tricycle around the asphalt, past fallen nuts and a bristly stalk of sedge harvested the day before. Up in the lower reaches of the treetops, a tiger swallowtail flapped its yellow wings. Yellow too, in a spot of sunlight on a bird feeder, was a goldfinch—a saturated yellow all its own, neither lemon nor chromium nor sunflower. Nor sodium. Another finch came in and ran the first one off. White patches shone in the wall of solid green to the south, where the most persistent shafts of sun finally hit the leaves. The Susquehanna was bluer than usual, with persistent boat wakes curving through it. Afternoon light came in over the left shoulders of the drivers mired on the Turnpike, fixing their portraits in profile. The light caught the straight tree trunks at the newly opened edge of the woods, the swelling seedheads, the idle road-building equipment. It raised rainbow patches on the sign listing rest-stop amenities. Pebbles showed like teeth in mouths chipped in the edge of the concrete highway barrier. A swallowtail flapped down the aisle between the creeping lines of cars. Back in the city, a breeze came in as the car door opened. A pink line ran along the western sky. A police car jammed on the lights and floored it down the quiet, narrow cross street. A few drops were falling from somewhere in the Midtown sky.
Monday, August 26th, 2013