Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Skipping Rocks on Lake Superior


She asked if I’d like to skip
rocks with her, this daughter
of mine—my nine-year-old hopping
onto the lunar carpet
of Lake Superior. I stopped
out of surprise
that she'd asked
me to join her. Standing
safely away from a possible
backfire, I advised her
to choose a smooth, small, flat
stone. One with a chance to loft and soar
above that vesper of light
between two waves, before
diving into darkness.
But she chose instead
a clunker. Cragged
and scarred by
the unkindness
of time. She launched
it two-armed
to the sun where it spun,
like a tuba scherzo, then dropped
to meet the water
with a cymbal-crash finale. She smiled
and proceeded to skip
farther down the shore.

"Skipping Rocks on Lake Superior" first appeared in The Talking Stick, Vol. 20.

Cheryl Weibye Wilke was born and raised on the small-town prairies of Central Minnesota. She writes poetry and children’s stories and articles. Her earthy, spiritual, award-winning works appear in Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose, Lake Region Review, Ottertail Review, Prairie Schooner, Seeding the Snow, Seven Hills Review, The Penwood Review, The Talking Stick, on stage and exhibit, and online at Inspired Mother Magazine and Northwoods Arts Council. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, daughter, and adopted shelter dog, Mabeline.

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This poem brings back memories of my brothers trying to show me how to skip rocks and more recently, my trying to teach my grandkids, who also pick the big chunky rocks! Loved it!
This reminded me of my younger days when my bigger sister challenged me skipping rocks. Even though she was much bigger I beat her every time. I doubt if I threw them like a "tuba sherzo"! Nice poem Cheryl. DS
Thanks, Barb and Donna, for commenting on "Skipping Rocks on Lake Superior." I am pleased to hear that it launched fond family memories for both of you.
This is a sweet visual moment by the lake. Just lovely.
"Cragged and scarred by the unkindness of time", Does that apply to just rocks or could include that include 50 plus? The story is very visual of youth and the simplicity of life.
Thank you, Diane and Cindy, for reading my poem. While "Skipping Rocks on Lake Superior" may bring to mind particular memories for me--the poem is certainly doing its job if it conjures up pleasant memories for you--50-plus and all!
Skipping experience to be enjoyed by those young and old....thanks for the memories. Very nice work, Cheryl.
Thanks, Bev, for reading and commenting on "Skipping Rocks on Lake Superior." You're right. Skipping rocks is timeless fun for kids of all ages.
Great poem Cheryl, you have found your niche! The poem elicits many fond memories of our family getaways to Lake Superior.
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