Panic Comes in Waves

They are my children and they are the colors
        of butter salt lemons they are recipes

churning in the Jersey waves and I can’t
        relax the jealous sea wants to take them

back it is wholly primitive so I distract
        my mind by noting how the sand is raised-relief

from castles shaped along the shore
        and how a child has perched a plastic stallion

as small as a turret Arabian I think
        whose bloodlines can be traced in all horses

running free or domestic around the earth.
        This distracts me reminds me of that video

we watched of a foal being born
        because my city kids learn in this safe way

and that baby stood up in no time
        no time to waste on the solid rocking earth

yet they were disgusted by the birth-mess
        and now the spread of this life is oceanic

and logarithmic and that word and this sun purrs
        under my hand seeking approval yelling

too far out but the waves became deaf
        to my heart centuries ago. My children

they are visible and buoyant
        between the eachness of waves

like their floating joy when I change
        the sheets at home and they rush to jump

on a naked bed because a sheet
        has been removed and kids are like that

up and down opportunistic as the waves
        on this beach and they’ll survive

tell me they will.


Beth Weinstock is a poet and physician from Columbus, Ohio. She received her MFA in poetry from Bennington Writing Seminars in January 2019. She currently teaches poetry and creative writing at the Columbus VA hospital, as well as the Franklin County Correctional Center. In her medical practice, she cares for patients living with HIV and Hepatitis C, and serves on several committees to bring humanities education to medical students.