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34 the minnesota review David James Smith Near Treeline This is the wind's high winter encampment where a black hawk maps invisible thermals above the snow and the streajribed's polished rock. I crest a hill and come upon a stand of naked trees, totems carved by wind and fire. The sun a red coal now, begins to sink into its bed of ash. I don't want to sleep in this place. It reminds me too much of the dream that followed me here last summer—a plunging appaloosa dragged down by the steaming mouths of wolves, by morning the wings of the shoulders, opened and glowing with a robe of ants. Still I come here again and again, even in winter, drawn by the frail light ground into the fields of granite, by whatever is in me that wants to know more than it can. I remember the journals of the obscure Norwegian explorer I read as a child, how once he shot his horse, slit it open and crawled in to keep from freezing. Smith 35 I used to imagine the eyes ofthat horse swiveling back, huge and curious when it felt the barrel of the revolver rest against its temple. Afterwards, he wrote, the Inuit welcomed him— the man who dreams ofgalloping in his house ofblood. ...


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