Pins and needles in legs, hard to breathe.
As the cold spread up my legs from my ankles,
I wondered, “is my extraction looming now. ”
Like some vertical medivac was about to occur
And I, to float up above the chairlift and the skiers.
“Are you alright?” Asked the kindly woman,
In this shabby brown cafe with its worn velour.
A doctor, a fellow customer, soon appeared
And fed me water and sugar, holding my hand,
The sweetness of the gesture
Touching me deeply, as the kindness
Of strangers never ceases to astonish.
Meanwhile, The cafe owner exclaimed
“He didn’t eat here, he didn’t eat here!”
And called the Carabinieri to have this disturbing
Presence, with his feet now up the wall
Removed from her tawdry establishment.
Refusing the paramedic’s request for hospital
I awaited the return of my skiing friends.
Passing over is best not done among strangers, and
Death is a gift not to be shared with the ungenerous.
She, the owner did not deserve that honour.
Even my soul decided abstraction from form,
In a place of browns and watery coffee
Was not the time, nor the place, that day.