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Ponies at the South Pole

           after a photograph, Scott Expedition, 1912

They are quieter than quiet. They are colder than cold
can be imagined. They may very well be blind.

Their ears receive the last sensation, a tiny crumble
of nothing. Their oblong heads tilt toward each other.

                  ... the end cannot be far writes the bungling,
stubborn man in his battered white tent,

writes suffering, bungling man.