I have come here my whole life, returned to scramble over stones, climb dark stairs, explore the honeycomb cells and arches and hear the wind moan.
I was born near the mouth of a river, that in-between realm, neither salt nor fresh, shifting with tides and storms and the ocean's swell. Yet still the fort stands, and we return for welcomes, farewells, the fights that no words can solve, the pains that time never seems to quell.
We come back to the stronghold, defenseless ourselves, seeking solace in the salt and wind and seagrass whipping harsh against our legs. Here we stand at the edge, not safe at all, but still we stay
as if the stones themselves support us, as if memories of the years we've spent sustain us, as if we've never had to say goodbye, as if as long as these arches stand we are safe, there is something sure, there is this, always this, if nothing else--some things endure.
Fort Popham, Phippsburg, Maine