The Winter Journey 4  



The Barrier, and soft snow. We can hardly budge

the sledge-runners.  Hard crystal.  Could be the Golden

Mile for all the progress after weíve hauled

the two loads back and forth along the Barrier edge.


Too much oil, too much equipment!  Then youíve pulled

off your fur glove to get a firm grasp.  What you havenít

yet grasped is that itís minus forty-seven

where your fingers are.  But when you come to hold


your supper dish... Oh for that plain boiled

snow, or tea perhaps, and a Huntley and Palmerís

Emergency biscuit!  The three of us curled

around our cups, we almost think nothing can harm us,


that we will be able to survive that soul-

destroying howl, this cage, the megaton cold.