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Jill Bialosky, from The Skiers

The Skiers

It begins with snow. The lone wilderness.
An intruder, high in the silver hill
top. A racer, he swiftly glides the slick
mountain back, slips between startled lovers —
no forewarning. He leaves a trail of Ss
in his track. Breathless, he lies in the snow
beside the frozen wonder of the lake,
stirred by the intimacy of lovers.
How long since he tasted the bittersweet
sap running through the maple's heart, or stopped
to listen to the language of the lark?
All the young squires in their down jackets
and stocking caps surround him. Follow me,
Pandemonium high on the crescent.

She thought it was a dream. She couldn't
breathe. The voice was in her head, inside the clat—
ter. It stole from her. She couldn't see. Snow
kicked up. A blizzard of emotion; in
its wake a blur of black — the terror of
happiness rushed past. He whispered that she
was beautiful. A lark. She looked ahead.
She tried not to listen. It was as if
in that glance she saw her entire life
pass: passions set awhirl in blinding am—
bition. Who would she be if she turned back?
The cold hurt. A branch fell. She followed the
loops of her betrothed's trustworthy path, a—
gainst fierce wind and gradient's resistance.

from 'The Skiers' — from Intruder)