White birch bark is curling on one of the south windowsills.
It is a silvery grey, actually, with black smudges.
My wife collects these wide silver strips from the forest floor,
Gathers them gently and places them on windowsills.
She wanders in the wood with our black dog,
pausing to assemble tiny people from twigs and moss, acorn caps and
bits of Play Dough from her pocket.
The little people are all different yet clearly know one another.
She carefully arranges them in knotholes, peeking from under roots, on forks of branches.
A most alert hiker may catch a glimpse of one.
She comes home with yet more birch bark to curl in the sun.
Tonight she says, “It’s almost winter. They will soon need little houses.”
She gathers the birch from all the windowsills and sits back to examine the silvery bark.
She stands the curls up, lies them down, puts one on top of the other.
She draws tiny windows with Magic Marker.
She smiles. “A little work and these will do nicely.”