He lay in deep contemplation of
The inky black dome overhead,
The pinprick stars, like holes
In a vast canopy devoid of warmth
He could feel his fingers and toes
For the last time as they froze
In the deep, Pleistocene cold.
His dog, black as the sky above
Crouched beside him on the snow
The gently tapping tail against him
As they lay together atop the vast
Frozen lake sprawling around him,
Receeding in the snowy, blue distance a
Treeline, so very, very far away.
He had surrendered some time before,
Indeterminate time, stolen by the cold
Any sense of progression and movement
Still as if the world itself had frozen.
He gazed to the infinitely receding sky
Contemplated the bitter distances
To the lake edge, the twinkling of cabin
Lights on the far shore he would not reach.
His only regret in this infinite
Struggle was that his dog would
Die here with him on this ice.