The Long Winter

The Long Winter

The village lights are fading fast
in the distance behind me,
the townsfolk are standing in line,
some waving;
others clapping, shouting,

I have a last glance
over my shoulder;
I raise a fist,
a triumphant gesture
for the mad journey ahead.

I pull the hood down
over my eyes,
focus on the sled dogs,
their paws
kicking snow
up into my face;
their ecstatic howls and barks
a language I can’t comprehend.

It’s a bumpy ride.

I can feel my fingertips
at least, but I’m afraid I’ve already lost
all feeling in my feet.
Strange that,
because I can feel the cold
creeping up to my knees,
slowly taking me’
enveloping me in a warm embrace
for the eternal white ahead.

*talkin (TALL-KEEN; Indonesian; verb): to whisper instructions to the dying.


2 thoughts on “The Long Winter

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