Weekend on the Rocks

Weekend on the Rocks

A Poetry Award Submission by Nan Rush

Weekend on the Rocks

(for my daughter)

Hiking the West Coast shore,

do you think of me?

When you see waves

crash through arched rocks

do you think how far you’ve come

from your childhood?

Cold nights in your tent,

looking at the stars,

do you think of where

you’ve been?

Do you remember

the first cave,

my womb,

that nurtured you, then

let you go?

Do you look out the

arch of your tent

and wonder where mother’s

crashing now,

what she’s beating against?

Everything in this poem

is a question.

Does that make it less

a poem?

I think of you hiking

against measured tides,

their going out

and coming in.

Can you make it through

without being swept away?

Daughter, you walk without me

and with me each day,

and your presence and

my absence

coalesce in the arch

of rocks sculpted by waves.

I crash on erratic tides

and am swept to shore

under a reliable moon

whose light strikes me.

I’m bewildered and wet,

a foam-covered shell.


collected the next day

by a child or child-at-heart.

I don’t know if I’m

asking for reassurance of your love

or reiterating mine for you.

If I were walking there,

tired, feet sore,

along the wild shore,

I’d light a lantern

and welcome lost sailors home,

crunch moonlight

among their bones,

lift a silver flask

to the stars

and declare my vitality.

I am there with you.

You are here with me.

This is the way it is,

like the way of waves,

as it will always be.

Nan Rush is a poet and musician who has been published in Rolling Stone, Poets On, Yet Another Small Magazine, Thirteen, Rambunctious Review, Nebo and Torrid Journal. Her poetry sequence "I Dress in Red" appeared in the memoir anthology Impact, and she was honored to have her poem "Schoolgirl" included in the Adrienne Rich tribute anthology published by Split Oaks Press in 2012. She has completed a fantasy novel and is working on a memoir.

Send to friend

Download our ESME app for a smoother experience.

Get the app Get the app