The night's fresh snow transformed the hills and vales
Into a white, fantastic fairyland;
And swirling flakes still falling veiled Mt. Snow,
Where resolute and eager skiers moved
In line, by twos, toward the double chairlift.
David, in brick-red jacket, pants of blue,
Was skiing alone and sharply called out "Single?"
To the pretty girl ahead, Elaine,
Who wore a dark green parka, yellow slacks.
"Yes!" she replied, and David jostled forward
To ski beside her in the advancing line.
They deftly mounted the two-seated lift,
And in five minutes were no longer strangers.
At the mountain's top they kept together
And chose to ski the big broad Snowdance hill,
Traversing rather leisurely at first
And stopping twice to view the lovely scene:
A vast, vague crazy-quilt of winter colors,
With white and green and brown all intermixed,
The snow and hoarfrost thick upon the trees;
Below, hard-frozen lakes or ponds, half-hidden,
And in the misty distance snow-clad ranges.
It was cold and fast, but turns came easy
In the new-fallen, dry powder snow;
They skied most everywhere, Elaine and Dave,
On that exciting mountain, turning, schussing,
Traversing, as they conquered joyously
The many delightful slopes and lengthy trails—
Like Deer Run—winding its way down through the woods;
Occasionally they left the open hills
To zigzag in and out among the trees,
Leaving behind their own tracks in the snow.
Their skill and gracefulness were almost equal,
Although Elaine had some slight edge in speed;
But in the diverse, dextrous arts of skiing
The two were excellently matched and knew it;
So both of them were inwardly delighted
That they by chance had suddenly discovered
An able partner in their favored sport.
Until the dusk shut down the lifts, they skied,
Then went inside the lodge to slowly sip
Hot chocolate, with cookies crisp and tasty.
They drove for drinks to nearby Encore Inn,
Where lone before a roaring, open fire
They sat back warm and drowsy and relaxed,
Their cheeks, from wind and cold, still red and glowing,
Their bodies toned to peak euphoria
From exercise in clean, pure, open air.
Tired they were—healthily fatigued
As they slowly drank their Martinis down
And chatted of their matchless skiing day
And how they would repeat it on the morrow;
They also spoke of other splendid hills
Each one had skied in winters of the past.
They went downstairs to sup and ordered promptly
Half a bottle of chilled Asti Spumante,
Toasted each other in the sparkling wine,
Toasted the Snowdance and the Sundance hills,
Exulted over "this great sport," and said
"A skiing weekend is the top of life."
Elaine and Dave conversed with animation
About the sports and movies they preferred,
About their colleges, their jobs, their pay,
The causes they supported and the towns
Where they had lived; and soon they realized
Their basic life-styles were quite similar.
After the meal was over they returned
To sit again before the pleasant fire,
And silently enjoyed the gracious heat
While holding hands, gay-smiling at each other,
And looking musingly and dreamily
At the burning logs and red-hot embers.
Elaine was stopping at the Andirons
Dave as usual stayed at old Encore.
The night was clear and stars lit up the sky
As he drove Elaine to her sedan.
They stood a moment looking at the stars,
Both thrilled and awe-struck by the vast array;
Then as Elaine unlocked her snow-girt car,
They embraced full length, with merry hugs and kisses.
Dave said, "It would be very nice, Elaine,
To visit you awhile in your motel;
I'll follow after you to Andirons."
"But not tonight, Dave dear," she said, "not now.
Another time, perhaps, if that's our wish;
Goodbye, my comrade skier, till tomorrow."
Then down the road she sped, snow whirling behind.
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