The eastern edge of Delaware is a marshy kidney that filters the industrial runoff from cities north.
As a child, my friend and I scoured the banks of the Delaware River for arrowheads, across from the “Great Cloud-Maker”, as he called it. That was the cooling tower of the Salem Nuclear Power Plant across the river in New Jersey. I was 12, and we swatted at the black flies and drank beer amidst the cattails.
Down the hill from my father’s farmhouse in Newark, under the shade of giant maples and oaks and through the chain-link fence heavy with fox grape, I watched the now-shuttered Chrysler plant churn out K-cars and LeBaron’s.
Heading south, you pass Dover, where we welcome home the dead from wars in places we can’t spell or pronounce. Keep going, and the soy and corn fields turn to sand and fog and recede into the Atlantic.
This was home. Now this is where I get lost.