the fool exchanges drowning for hypothermia

when i was a kid
we went sledding
after the first
real snow of the season

the fresh snow
sheered by the disc
i gleefully spun on
down the steep hill
and i raced back up
again and again

my aunt was there
with a big wooden sled
with metal runners
a short rope to steer
and i watched as she
flew faster than i
could follow in a blur
darting across the top
of the thigh deep snow

my father let me try
this marvel of sledding
i hunched forward
his hand on the small
of my back as he pushed
and i flew down the hill
all thoughts of the rope
of steering the vessel
vanished from my head
as my collarbone snapped
against a lone tree

i stood up and smiled
walked around the tree
two full turns before
collapsing face first
into the unpacked snow

the danger didn’t show
itself to me until my
velocity had reached
a point where i could
have done nothing but
roll off the sled in a
last ditch effort to
possibly save myself

i have never been good
at seeing any possible way
to ever save myself

and now i sit two weeks
into a spiral from which
i could use a solution
that i cannot seem to find
the tree is flying toward me
and my cries fall unheard
dead into the snowbanks

all of these head on
collisions have taken
a toll on my well-being

still just a child on an
adult sled going too fast
downhill into the darkness
with nothing but the silence
and gently snapping bones
to keep my concussed disillusion
staggering and smiling
as i take another victory lap
before collapsing face first
into a snowbank too deep
to ever be found again

all i have are the scars
of my many failures
and the foggy memories
of painful drives home

it feels as if it could
begin to snow any minute
and all i long to do is
lay down and let it cover me
to sink into the crystals
glittering like gemstones
under the frigidly callous sun

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