The Fort

by Rebecca Meade

1985 - Marblehead, MA  


The pure energy of the Sun arouses in me emotions
I suppress all week long.
The idleness of Sunday morning at the Fort,
My favourite spot on God's Earth.

The cries of the multitude of birds all around me
Singing their delight at the happening of the Sun.

After a week of rain ...
now Sun!

Lobstermen all around -- my secret dream: to be one;
To live from the sea, on the sea;
To die, when I go, here by the sea, at the Fort,
My favourite spot on God's Earth.

This bench has held so many bottoms --
Some tired from touring the Town;
Some having made the trip just to sit here, as I.

This bench ... so many initials carved into its skin -- like tattoos,
Long bearing the identifications of its visitors.

Mine were here once ... but they seem to be gone now;
Covered over by either time, weather, or new initials ... who knows?

Only God knows.

One by one the boats are prepared for a day of fun.
They are rigged each to their own specifications, and then,
When all is ready, they slowly make their way out of the harbour,
To the openness of the great Atlantic Sea.

The Sea, with its waves so lovingly caressing the rocks here at the Fort,
My favourite spot on God's Earth.

A lump forms in my throat when I come here,
Sometimes I cry, sometimes not,
But always that lump ... I love it here so much,
Don't ever want to leave it ...
To go where? Where could be better?

A few more sails have been hoisted to full mast,
And are creeping out the mouth of the harbour now ...
Slowly, out to the sea ... to where I want to be ...
Out there on the water where no one can hear or see
If I cry --
For happiness, or sadness, because I do both.

So few people seem to take advantage of the Fort in the morning
I glance up from my writing and see hundreds of noses
Boats' noses, pointing to me.
The wind must be behind me, blowing down to the south,
So they are all watching me, as I write.

If I had a boat I'd paint it red,
With white inside.
There don't seem to be too many red boats out there;
And I'd give it a blue stripe, to go with the Flag here at the Fort,
My favourite spot on God's Earth.
And I'd call her "Lady Bug", my red, white and blue Lady Bug Boat.

I wish I had brought a muffin to give to the birds,
Who all think that anyone sitting in front of the Sea, on a bench,
Has a muffin they are willing to share, and I don't.
How thoughtless of me ...
Not to have bought one with my coffee at the Driftwood, earlier;
Next time I will ... next time I come to the Fort,
My favourite spot on God's Earth,

I'll bring a muffin for His birds.


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