He asks for little, so great is his despair. At the crest of the white hill, he waits near the fire, holding the reins of his expensive sled. The girls giggle and flirt, winding and unwinding their patterned scarves--a grown man wants their attention. One of them finally edges toward him, as other children appear and disappear, plying the hill. There is no moon, his plain face is lit by snow. Although she cannot name what she feels, already she understands the terms of these arrangements: from her, a rudimentary kindness, and in exchange, under his blunt body, the polished track, the dull self falling away.