The over-wintering geese troubled the marsh's quiet.

It is cold enough that I can move deeper in than usual, stepping from one stiff mound of reed grass to another. As I move, the stems and tufts bat my ears, my shoulders, my crown. 

A neighbor told me a few winters ago that she nearly sank out here. She had been determined to cross the marsh but the ice remained thin - an anaerobic bog that never meaningfully froze. She had dropped suddenly to the depth of her out-splayed arms, winter boots and pants locked in suction. Clutching at one clump of phragmites and then another, she gradually pulled herself free. Sopping, and smelly.