Maine Rocks by Karen Egee
I will be the rocks down at the shore, where you learn to swim, the glacier formed, sun-warmed, sea salted, seaweed laced rocks slanting into the bay, where your Mom and Dad will stand thigh deep in the water, arms extended, waiting for you to push off me with your feet and splash your way toward them, your cheeks puffing out, holding your breath, your arms flailing, in water-slapping beginner strokes.
I will be these rocks fifty some years later, when your mother sits down to rest on me, to gaze out at the bay, then can’t get up, suddenly forgetting how to move her legs, so you and your husband David will hoist her up from the back, your father’s hands reaching out receiving her, all of you giggling at the absurdity of it, a few days before her fatal heart attack.
And I will still be these same rocks three years after that, this very morning, still receiving you, as you take a break from Dad asking you for help with the computer, help with the phone, help getting tea, help, really, in his battle against loneliness. While David does the dishes back at the house, I will be the rocks you walk down to, the rocks you will lay on, as the sun warms you, as you hear the waves gently washing onto me, as the tide comes in.
Karen Egee lives in Maine now, since the pandemic started, with her husband and dog, a few miles from her father. She works as a child psychologist by day, now via telehealth. She writes creative nonfiction to savor the good and make sense of the rest. Her work has appeared in Unbroken Journal and the Brevity Podcast and Passager’s Pandemic Diaries.
Photo by Karen Egee