When Small Things Die
This is the guilt of being,
the empty horror,
the fearsome weight
of living conscious,
awake to the dull and lingering
ghosts. In my hands,
a small death, a mild cry,
a feeble resurrection.
This, the detached cycle,
the rotating climb
that no feeding heart grows used to.
Infant soul, infant eyes gazing
into my own. Body wriggling under
my warm fingers.
This is my love
expanding, my love too limited
to hold the healing needed, or shut off
the crude struggle of a gasping life. Life
thin-boned and motherless.
Cold paws, blue tongue,
neck, a loose ladder holding such a heavy,
down into final slumber:
like a child’s prized toy.
Copyright © 1995 by Allison Grayhurst
You can listen to the poem by clicking below:
“Somewhere Falling has a richness of imagery and an intensity of emotion rare in contemporary poetry. Drawn in sharp outlines of light and darkness, and rich shades of colour, with a deep sense of loss and longing and the possibility of salvation, this is an unusual book by a gifted young poet. Grayhurst’s voice is one to which we should continue to pay attention.” — Maggie Helwig, author of Apocalypse Jazz and Eating Glass.
“Responsibility and passion don’t often go together, especially in the work of a young poet. Allison Grayhurst combines them in audacious ways. Somewhere Falling is a grave, yet sensuous book.” – Mark Abley, author of Glasburyon and Blue Sand, Blue Moon.
“Biting into the clouds and bones of desire and devotion, love and grief, Allison Grayhurst basks the reader, with breathtaking eloquence, in an elixir of words. Like lace, the elegance is revealed by what isn’t said. This is stunning poetry.” – Angela Hryniuk, author of no visual scars.