A blizzard, late in the season, arrives
with its sudden cannonading . . .
It sends a lost soldier wandering, alone
towards the center of what he perceives
as a vast clearing in a dense pine grove.
Snowdrifts will billow up past his thighs
and the chalk-blue terrain will forget
its own landmarks by nightfall. He will drop
his rifle and his rucksack on the snow,
hallucinate his dead mother
young again, then collapse. Then the moans,
the deep creak and clatter when the gray slab
of lakeice gives way. A braid of bottom grasses
will hold him down, a frost will heal the sky.