08.12.17 – ‘squitered
We walked along the marshland paths looking for a secret or two out of sight from the sun’s overly enthusiastic charms. The bridges to and from those islands, bucked and swayed, standing just on the top of the lake and hanging desperately onto thin shores at either end. The swamps rose without rain. They were pitched so near the rough waterway that any wake drifting off the passing crafts would spill across the ground and turn that soil back to mud. We expected a fashioned path, reliable and ready for traffic, not this loose earth gripping at heels with a dangerous taste for shoes.
Even the trees came off as sinister loiterers, hanging about the shallow water with tendrils sent off to do the dirty work. Those roots ran in their jagged ways, taking the path a drunk might after a long night in service to a vice. They were black and glistening like the water clung to them with a sickening effort, advancing with sharp ends at every possible compass point. They looked hostile and plotting; though the water at their crooks sat still you’d swear they were inching through it surreptitiously to reach a set of ankles and pull the unsuspecting beneath the flat surface.
The locals weren’t much better. We swatted pint-sized pinchers and six-legged suckers every time we stopped for a breath. Stowaways were common, crawling on cloth just long enough to find a way through layers and add some protection against an open hand. But you were bothered most by the listing occurring on land, the sight of the lilies churning beneath a tide driven by a bevy of boats. The wild was sinking in and we were treading water while standing on the shore. It seemed like a long way off from the city just beyond its shade.