Out the farmhouse and down the dirt road, past the swimming pond and the cemetery. That night I did not swim. I did not even stop to visit with the dead. To the hazelnut tree that juts out slightly toward the road, that now and then must withstand the strike of a car, some teenager's car, out for a joyride. Or lightning.
On the hazelnut's trunk, on a smooth knot, I placed my hand. I knocked. I demanded entrance to another life. The tree admitted me and I stepped through.
I have not been back