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Down East Maine

Gibb David

It began with the long, silent drive past endless

lobster pounds and fishing towns that litter

the landscape of Down East Maine like seagulls

swarming a freshly pulled pot, like canvas tents

on the small island that was my summer home.

It was here where I first knew fear,

when a sick valve finally died and the tanks erupted

into the sky as all below lay sleeping, wakening

to the deafening explosion and unrelenting advance

of searing heat, enveloping hiking boots and sleeping bags

in its ardent fervor. Only a barren island

and a history of ashes left behind.

And it was here I walked the scorched earth

and breathed deep its tragic musk,

spread cool mulch over the blackened loam,

and watched as despair became hope and joists

became floors, and through this painful transformation

I began to understand.

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