The air was crystal clear

And cold

The sky

A deep blue


And very beautiful

The snow was deep

And the clearing surrounded

By ancient hardwood


The snow of the clearing was trampled everywhere

And stained

A deep red

The body lay on the other side of the clearing


Massive, motionless and dead

He sat and stared

On his butt in the snow

Aware of his own injuries


And his life

Seeping into the white snow

As he stared

But he could not look away


The encounter had been a long time in coming

It was not if, but when and where

And now it was over

It ended as it had to…with an end


He knew


Something he had lived with forever

Was finally dead


He shook his head and came out of his trance

He knew

He did not have much time

He propped himself up with the broken ski


And slowly, painfully, turned around

His eyes rested on the small knoll

He began crawling, dragging the broken ski

Through the trampled, blood stained snow


Reaching the base of the knoll

Using the broken ski

He began to dig

A grave or a bed – he did not know


He did not have much room to move

Dirt, small rocks and melted snow

Were in his face, mouth and neck

He held his gloves in his bare hand and ran them over his face


He struggled to remove his coat

Then rolled on top

Sweat covered his face

His hands gently probed his body, then lay still


His vision began to blur

He slowly closed his eyes

And was drifting

Shadowy known figures began to emerge


Then he was gone