The Dock

The Dock


The warm grains beneath my hands left grooves on my palms as I lowered myself toward the water. Inching my butt over the edge, my elbows holding my back against the edge of the dock. The water shivered throughout the pond and from my toe up my spine. A gentle breeze ruffled the vibrant green buds surrounding the pond. An applause of new life. The taller trees remained barren yet. My eyes were blue, as blue as the sky, as blue as the ocean, as blue as a new born baby. Not even the clouds could hide the sun that day. Light rained over me turning the edges of my hair to gold. I craned my neck back like flower drinking. I took a deep breath. Then, a piercing cold. With puffed cheeks, I hung suspended, engulfed. My heart pounded in my chest. I opened my eyes and broke the surface.


Our fingers entwined. A perfect fit. Two worn woods growing around each other. His feet dangled beside mine, sending ripples pulsing through my body as he inched closer. The bushes had grown taller providing privacy from curious neighbors and spying friends. The taller trees had their full canopy. My secret place was now his secret place, too. And as we leaned closer together, we created another secret. Storm clouds were moving on the horizon, adding energy to the air, but for now, the pond was still and silent. His fingers twirled through my hair and rained down my body. I drank him in. His scent, his taste, his feel. Then, we separated. My heart pounded. My lungs gasped. I blinked and he was gone.


The dock was as rickety as my old bones. My wrinkles mirrored in the deep cracks of the wood from seventy years of freeze and thaw. I lowered myself slowly down, inch by inch, to the weathered wood. A chill breeze sapped at the minor warmth I still had, and the cold platform drained the rest from me. The barren branches blocked most of the sky. Ice encased the charred limbs of buck thorn surrounding the pond. Ice marbled the surface of the pond. Wood frogs slept under the mud, their veins frozen, hearts stopped. A rowboat floated in the weeds, and a scythe stuck out of it, likely abandoned from the fields behind me. I wheezed in the frigid air. My heart fluttered. I closed my eyes, leaving everything crimson.


6 thoughts on “The Dock

  1. I like how you used the prompt here to indicate different slices of time.

    If I had to nitpick, I noticed that you used the prompt word within the prose only in the last section, which stood out to me. I think it may have been more consistent if you either left it out of the final vignette or utilized the words in the other two sections.

    I really enjoyed the level of description here. Very vivid.


  2. You have an engaging and poetic voice, and I admire how you described unseen things and brought them to the reader’s attention: the blue eyes of the narrator, the frogs under the mud. I also admired “as we leaned closer together, we created another secret.” Swoon. I was a little confused how I was supposed to read these three segments: on their own, or connected. The “he” seems to only be in the second part. So one of my readings was that these were three separate occasions set at the same pond. Another read was that your MC came to the pond to daydream and you presented a before, during, after.


    1. Thank you for your feedback innatejames! I had thought of it as three separate visits to the pond by the same person as I wrote it, but I like to leave my writing a little ambiguous to let the reader form their own ideas and interpretations. I agree that there could be many ways to read it–perhaps the three sections are three different perspectives, perhaps they’re daydreams or flashbacks, perhaps the real answer lies between the lines or under the mud.


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