Night squeezed a few flakes out of the damp air and the boardwalk is speckled white and slick. I walk without trust, bridged over this thawed and yawning marshland. Just ahead, a knot in the wood looks up at me and I stop, not wanting to step on it. It weeps with moisture in a form somewhere between frost and dew. I could believe it's sap, softened by the onset of spring, bleeding life into limb and leaf. But these are hewn planks. Dead wood. My footsteps echo across the boardwalk.