The Strange Folk

The pond at the end of my garden is a portal to another world.

I’ve seen them, the strange folk, climb into it at night, slip down deeper than they should, until they’re entirely submerged. I’ve waited for them to rise again, exploding up out of the depths in an ecstasy of joy, relief, taking in great chest bursting gulps of air, masses of water and moss and lily pads and water weeds dripping from their hair.

But they never do. The strange folk slip slowly in, do not ever return. Wherever it is it leads, this portal, it’s entrance only.

Maybe they emerge in other ponds, in other gardens, feet first, like spiders from a hole. Maybe they turn into fish, snails, tadpoles, toads. Maybe they just dissolve, become ripples on the surface, rainbows, moonbeams, seafoam, salt.

I still don’t know who the strange folk are, why they come here late at night, creeping between the trees to bathe in our pond. Where are they from? Why are there so many of them? Don’t they have anywhere else to go?

And will they take me with them, if I ask, take me with them to wherever it is they go.



1. Written on June 13th, 2022


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