ICE FISHING/ N A FROZEN LAKE a man is fishing. The sun--no warmer than a star--hangs over the spruce. Winter in Montana. The Pintlar Mountains rise to the east. Heavy timber blankets the foothills but only reaches halfway up the range. Those peaks are too harsh most of the year for anything but snow. To the west, where he came from, there are no mountains, just dense woods. After the road ended it was another four miles on foot. His snow shoes made the only tracks. The man looks down the hole he's dug for movement in his line, but there's none. He shakes a little against the cold. Aside from the Pintlars, the land around the lake is rolling. It's the top of a high plateau. Everywhere is forest, and even the fir trees seem cold, standing in the deep snow. Looking back down at the line he thinks of her. There was warmth there. He pulls the hood over his head as a breeze picks up. He's come ready to fight the cold: two layers of wool socks, insulated boots and a pair of long underwear. The man has two pairs of pants on and three
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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