Nell Boeschenstein’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Granta, the Kenyon Review, Ecotone, the Guardian, and elsewhere. She is the assistant director of the UVA Young Writers Workshop, teaches writing at Sweet Briar College, and lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A Points South essay from the Fall 2018 issue.
The dock at Mountain Lake is everything a dock should be—whitewashed clapboard, punctuated by an airy pavilion with a red roof—but if you jumped off it, all you’d hit is earth. There is no water here. No puddles even. Just soil, sandstone, milkweed, sassafras, and the occasional pine sapling. Skirting the periphery of the lakebed, a belt of rhododendron holds back the woods. Jutting into a meadow as it does, the dock resembles a hitchhiker’s thumb. Well, I’m not needed here anymore. I might as well move on.