Laurel Rust



My mother answers, tells me
she is putting the phone
in her skirt pocket
so she can sit on the couch
in the living room,
put her feet up.
It is evening, after all, the time
when her legs give out.

After so many years in the chill
of her distance, I am carried
in the warm dark of her pocket. I ride
her hip, surrounded
by the muffle of fabric, the squeak
and scrape of her walker
across wood floors,
her labor, the long journey
from kitchen to living room,
and finally the whoosh
of the couch cushions as she sits down,
folds her walker.

Then she lifts us both
out of darkness. When finally
she catches her breath, she holds me
to her cheek. My mother gives me
her voice. She gives me
my name.


Laurel Rust is a Washington native. She graduated in English from the UW and was fortunate to take part in Nelson Bentley’s incredible poetry classes. She is the single mother of a now grown son and lives on Orcas Island. In 1998, Brooding Heron Press of Waldron Island, WA, published a chapbook of her work, What Is Given. She has self-published a number of hand bound, small edition chapbooks since then. Her work (stories, poems, and essays) has appeared in Fine Madness, Pandora, Faire, Calyx, Spindrift, Clover, Prune Alley, and Trivia: A Journal of Ideas.