Clouds in the fields along the estuary. Low, forested hills. Other days sun and wind as I climbed the road to the wide view of the sea. I kept getting the word secret. One day it’s nobody’s business came into my head, the way answers would materialize in the Magic Eight Ball we used to play with as kids. It was shiny black, about the size of a grapefruit. You asked it questions and shook it and random sayings would swim up into a window on the bottom. That’s how it happened for me. I didn’t hear a voice. I became aware of sentences, and they didn’t seem to be coming from me. Then there was the Common Yellowthroat I kept seeing, canary yellow, flitting around in the alder by the road. It would hop on a near branch and cock its head, back and forth and up and down, looking me over, and I got the distinct impression that it was the same bird I’d seen the day before, and the day before that, and that it knew me. It recognized me. It was so close I could see feathers move. I could see the weave of the feathers in the mask around its eyes. A bright, black mask, like a bandit’s.