Bowl of candy
It falls and it dies, dried
blood on a tombstone -
palliative care, parallel petals
of varying hues. Leaning against
a concrete pole plastered with posters of faded
dreams, dreaming their last gasp - ambulances,
lawnmowers, bird sounds - feeling the sun’s
rough tongue circle and slide with moist intensity
over the sleeves of my new jacket.
I feel the civilized crowd, absent of judgment,
crossing streets, side-stepping grates. What does it mean
to be disguised as a butterfly or hospital nurse? Pacing
the torrid tea stores, listening to the woodpeckers, wishing
I could be so industrious. But my hands were made heavy and
I continue dragging my head like a rock, lifting it
into the sky, over airplane tracks,
and vegetable patch gardens.
Sorrow is open, festers like boredom,
breathing an unmarked passage
through my vascular system. Wobbly and wanting only
to be taken, to let my thoughts be devoured
by survival and sensation -
one more week of salt without substance,
to be a mole in a wave
of fragrant calamity, to awaken in a bed with hands
covering my chest and trembling in the shower stall -
walking, walking - vines and the roots of old trees -
whistling in my ears - flint and enlightened temperatures,
silver and worn. How does everything enter?
Am I the sea? Am I a balcony or a rooftop?
Away from this place, I will never be pardoned or at peace.
Maybe this is just wilderness and burning,
but never once did I know stagnation or
was I afraid.
Allison Grayhurst is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has over 370 poems published in more than 190 international journals and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers in 1995. Since then she has published ten other books of poetry and four collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com