WINDS ESKER                
  
                                          
 THERE  WAS THIS PLACE THAT FOR TWO YEARS 
 I COULDN'T GO TO.  REGARDLESS  HOW  MUCH 
 DISCUSSED  WITH  OTHERS, OR POINTED  OUT 
 ON MAPS, I COULD  NOT  THINK OF IT  WHEN 
 ALONE. I  WOULD  OFTEN  TRAVEL PAST  THE 
 FORK,  WHERE A RIGHT  TURN WOULD  SURELY 
 TAKE ME THERE,  BUT EVEN THEN, SOMETHING 
               KEPT ME AWAY.              
                                          
 WHEN  I  FINALLY GOT  THERE, AFTER  SOME 
     HEAVY SUBCONSCIOUS BATTLE I MUST     
 ASSUME,  THE  PLACE   WAS   SURREAL.  AN 
 ESKER,  LIKE A NEEDLE-THIN  RIFT OUT  IN 
 THE  LAKE,  BUT   TEN  METERS  HIGH  AND 
 ADORNED  IN BIRCH, WILLOW,  BRACKEN, AND 
               BLUEBERRIES.               
                                          
 WALKING  ATOP  THAT  SPINE,  I  CAME  TO 
 NOTICE THE  VIEW TO  EITHER SIDE.  THERE 
 SHOULD  BE  SHORES,  OF  COURSE,  BUT  I 
 DIDN'T RECOGNIZE THEM.  FIRST OFF,  THEY 
 WERE MUCH TOO CLOSE, AS  THE LAKE SHOULD 
 STRETCH  FOR A  HUNDRED METERS  MORE  ON 
 BOTH  SIDES. BUT  NOW  I  FELT  I  COULD 
 ALMOST  REACH  OUT  AND  TOUCH THEM. AND 
 THEN, WHEN I REALIZED  WHICH SHORES THEY 
           WERE, I HAD TO STOP.           
                                          
 THEY  WERE  OF THE RIGHT  LAKE. BUT THIS 
       LAKE IS LARGE, FRACTURED, AND      
 BIPARTITE.  LIKE A  PAIR OF LUNGS CARVED 
 INTO THE GRANITE, AND  WITH NO LESS THAN 
   FIVE COMMUNITIES ANCHORED AT VARIOUS   
      POINTS. AND SO, STUDYING THESE      
    IMPOSSIBLY CLOSE SHORES, I SLOWLY     
 UNDERSTOOD THEM AS BELONGING  MANY MILES 
                  AWAY.                   
                                          
 I  EXAMINED  THE  RIDGE,  THE   TREELINE 
 ABOVE. WAS  THIS  WHAT YOU SAW OPPOSITE, 
 FROM  THOSE  OTHER  SHORES?  I  COULDN'T 
                 REMEMBER.                
                                          
 CARRYING  FORWARD,  ON THE VERY  TIP  OF 
 THE  ESKER, I  FOUND THE RUINS  OF  SOME 
    OLD BUILDING. THERE WERE OVERGROWN    
  MARBLE STAIRCASES, STONE FLOORS BENEATH 
 THE  MOSS, AND  STRANGE  SLABS  INSERTED 
 INTO THE SLOPE  LIKE  DAMS  AGAINST  THE 
              GROUND ITSELF.              
                                          
 SITTING THERE,  I  COULD SEE  ACROSS THE 
 NARROWED LAKE MY ENTIRE PATH TO  WHERE I 
 SAT:  FROM THE STAIRWELL  OF  MY  HOUSE, 
 THROUGH  THE OLD WOODS BEHIND  THE  TILE 
      FACTORY, THE BRIDGE OVER ROUTE      
 TWENTY THREE  AND  THEN  BACK  UNDER IT, 
 THROUGH  THE  FANCY   VILLAS,  OVER  THE 
 FIELDS, AND THEN THAT  RIGHT TURN AT THE 
                  FORK.                   
                                          
 AND THEN THE  STAIRS  UP  ON THE  RIDGE. 
 THINKING  BACK,  THIS  WAS PROBABLY  IT. 
 HIDDEN  IN  A  GROVE, THERE  WERE STAIRS 
 MUCH LIKE THE ONES  I CURRENTLY  SAT ON, 
 OLD  AND WORN  DOWN,  THAT  LEAD YOU  UP 
 ONTO  THE ESKER. THE POINT OF ENTRY. HAD 
 I INSTED OPTED TO WALK THE PATH  AT  ITS 
 FOOT, I'M  SURE  MY EXPERIENCE  WOULD'VE 
          BEEN DIFFERENT INDEED.          
                                          
  
                                          
 ON  THE  LAKE,   THERE  WERE  PEOPLE  IN 
 BOATS. I  WONDERED,  COULD THEY EVEN SEE 
 ME? IF  I SHOUTED, WOULD  THEY  TURN  TO 
         STARE RIGHT THROUGH ME?