When Small Things Die


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,

awe-inspiring head,


down into final slumber:


looking now

like a child’s prized toy.



Copyright © 1995 by Allison Grayhurst


For Every Rain Cover 5



Published in “The Peregrine Muse” July 2017



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.



2 responses to “When Small Things Die

  1. This poem really grabs me this evening. It has such agony in it and to have held it in your hands for its last breaths…the image of a “feeble resurrection” is one that has never occurred to me and I find it very striking. How can a resurrection be feeble except that somehow we bring our weakness into heaven…

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