I lift the bullfrog from the waters.
Bread, parables and staying close to a legend –
these are things of joy. I am thinking of the grave
near the willow tree, whose roots have grown
around the coffin, and of a sailing ship
that has no home port, but drifts like
a hollow log on living waters.
Freely I made my room and closed the door.
I knelt for our starved country, and grief
wrapped around my sleep, landing safely in my arms.
My father, I dream of your flame. I miss the woods
and your kind goodbyes. Tomorrow is a keyhole
that shapes my hopes with tiny possibilities.
If I could rise like grass from dirt, then
my nerves would be brave and the smell of the sun
would heal me with prayers.
If my eyes were an ocean where the whale
and the seahorse gathered, then I could see mercy
in the shark’s primitive teeth, I would
lie on the surface of a wave,
catching the colours of dusk with
my out-stretched tongue.
Copyright © 2000 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Boston Poetry Magazine” titled “In The Silence”, 2013
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“Allison Grayhurst’s poems are like cathedrals witnessing and articulating in unflinching graphic detail the gritty angst and grief of life, while taking it to rare clarity, calm and comfort. Grayhurst’s work is haunting, majestic and cleansing, often leaving one breathless in the wake of its intelligence, hope, faith and love amidst the muck of life. Many of Allison Grayhurst’s poems are simply masterpieces. Grayhurst’s poetry is a lighthouse of intelligent honour… indeed, intelligence rips through her work like white water,” Taylor Jane Green, Registered Spiritual Psychotherapist and author.