The sort of morning

A layer of fog this morning. It seems not to float upon the earth so much as suffocate it, like the lead aprons patients wear during an X-ray. It’s frosted the grass gray, reforming it in its own image; if the horizon were farther away, the line separating earth and sky would be indistinguishable. My breath, too, the fog transmutes into itself, vapor to vapor. Every few seconds, I hear the plick of leaf-frost as it melts and drops on the leaves in our yard, which hasn’t been raked yet this season. The marching band tooting a half-mile away in the monochrome stillness feels either comic or grotesque. 

It’s the sort of morning I imagine for Agincourt, or Waterloo, the solid-seeming fog about to be shredded by cavalry, cannon fire, a flock of arrows unseen until they land in your chest. The fondant of frost crackled by limbs, upended horses. We don’t fight like that anymore.

Michael Busk