Northwords Now Issue 38

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Ötsi

by Maggie Wallis

his final hours
spent eating a meal of wheat and ibex

on the alpine slopes
above the Senales valley

a copper smelter to trade, well-equipped
to make a journey over snow

it was springtime, he was forty-five
a ripe age for a man living in that era

the brutal attack came from behind -
he bled to death from an arrow

wounding the left shoulder
piercing his artery

after defrosting him
once they’d collected their multiple samples

from this very ancient man
Zink remarked - his voice soft, surprised

There were moments yesterday
when I felt almost sorry for him

he was so… explored
all his secrets open to exploration

the hidden arrowhead
the secret he’ll keep.