With My Daughter on the Oregon Coast
by Robert Joe Stout
Between rocks and the gray shapes of waves
beyond land’s end seabirds rose, descended,
rose again, the eye detecting them
sure of their flight, then blinking, finding shapes
within the mind, rhythms that the sea
entwined, then birds arising, stirring dreams
remembered from another life—or lives.
I turned—and shadows turned, voices asked me
questions. Like the birds they rose, diminished,
slid across the rocks. Are you okay?
my daughter asked. I smiled and reached for hands
that like small birds brushed straining
fingertips and merged beyond my grasp
in gray arisings, birds within, without the eye.
Robert Joe Stout’s poetry reflects experiences from childhood in Wyoming, adolescence in northern California, a stint in the Air Force, college in Mexico, marriage, fatherhood, years of journalistic activity, and emigration. His poems have appeared in Sublimal Poetry, The Tishman Review, Poem, Third Wednesday and elsewhere. He’s been the recipient of journalistic awards including spot news writing.