An Early Snow

This snow has stunned them too, the birds. They
shelter on the porch. Finches, warblers, juncos,
and one stranded thrasher, all confused, slow
to move. The feeders and birdbaths wear white
top hats, so I bring plates of seed and bowls
of water, sure to freeze, and serve them
on the patio table. The birds bumble
like little drunkards up to a bar—not
too numb to bicker and shove others out
of the way. Greedy fuckers. But also cold,
puffed in distress. The sun tries to push
through clouds. Shines, almost, like a smudged
hubcap. Gives up the fight. Snow’s set to fall all
day and night. I’ll watch—worried, warm, safe—inside.

Marisa P. Clark

Marisa P. Clark is a queer writer who grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and came out in Atlanta. Her writing appears or will appear in Shenandoah, Cream City Review, Nimrod, Epiphany, Crab Creek Review, Foglifter, Rust + Moth, Texas Review, Folio, and elsewhere. Best American Essays 2011 recognized her creative nonfiction among its Notable Essays. She lives in New Mexico with three parrots, two dogs, and whatever wildlife and strays grace her with their visits.