Ascending the northeastern ridge of Guyot,
two men discovered post hole hoofprints
through the snow, sluffed powder slipping
away like leaden plumage or crushed limestone
through a quarry’s flute. They followed heavy
tracks for three hours, snowshoes holding
their boots aloft between frozen ground and light.
When they paused where wind cut drifts
across the saddle of the hill’s arch-backed gap,
exposed stone hid the passage of the mount
like ash consumed within a river’s froth.
Half a mile further on they began to find
saddlery bits and various tack like downy
feathers littering the trail, dark leather
wet from scuffs of slush, then one man
called out that he’d found crisp brass
sleigh bells shining in late December sun.