On a Rock in Naubinway

Creative Writing | Poetry

On A Rock in Naubinway

IN A RUSTED, burgundy van,
each summer we’d climb Michigan cross the bridge
to a place whose name I rarely utter,
since so few know its face.
Route 2 wanders alone through endless forests,
like a silk ribbon
draped across the yard of the wild.

Up here, trees are my mountains:
towering blue-green pines,
markers of another time,
reaching high enough to brush the feet
of eagles.
Up here,
time moves slower,
as we huddle in a one-room cabin
of mildew and pine,
cord pulled from the broadcast of
the rest of the world.

Strolling down the bluff,
jade beach grass grazes your calves,
and velvet sand sings
beneath your step.
Break onto the beach,
and step into the untouched basin:
a treasure the explorers forgot to conquer.
Lake Michigan cradles the setting sun,
swathing the sky
in tangerine and rose,
against an ocean of cerulean
and tannic amber:
Earth’s watercolors
on a glowing canvas.

I always loved the way
my feet dragged,
sliding across the ridges
left by waves upon sand.

Up here, I could sit forever
on this rock that peaks out of the lake
like a timid whale.
Up here, I could sit forever,
until my eyes adjust
to the lighthouse lamp on the horizon,
until the wonder makes me wonder
who I will be,
until my thoughts are matched
by whirling waves and lulling seagulls,
until the solitude is enough
to make the lonely
feel at home.


Photograph by Elise Matich

Jaclyn Burr
I am a 25-year-old high school English teacher in Brighton, Michigan. I grew up in a bustling household, as the youngest of five children, and now occupy my days teaching, spending time with family and friends, listening to music, enjoying nature, watching Seinfeld reruns, and reading. The human experience in itself inspires my art—in all of its pain, complexity, and wonder. From an early age, music, especially that of Bruce Springsteen, has instilled in me a quest for communication and validation of those questions we all ask ourselves on our journeys through life, and has lessened my feelings of loneliness. Through my life, I've felt the tensions between happiness and sorrow, desire and resistance, hope and disillusionment, dream and reality. I write in order to sort through these questions, to contemplate my own identity, or merely to add my frustrations, exultations, and questions to the discourse of the human experience.