The Holding On
When the head of the flower is plucked
and darkness takes the child’s
tender hand, I hold my breath
under the covers.
For so long I waited for a response,
and when it came, it took years before I felt
the happy ending. It took me by surprise
like the affinity I felt with the newborn squirrels
when cupping their soft and trembling bodies.
Over the highest evergreen I race
with my emblem. I lost
nearly everything I cared for to gain
a new soul. I lost a passion and gained
a rage against death and the wilderness outside.
I drink from the underground and am blessed.
I let out my breath and ask this
final remnant of grief to be gone.
Copyright © 2002 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Nostrovia! Milk and Honey Siren poetry anthology”, 2013
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“Allison Grayhurst intertwines a potent spirituality throughout her work so that each poem is not simply a statement or observation, but a revelation that demands the reader’s personal involvement. Grayhurst’s poetic genius is profound and evident. Her voice is uniquely authentic, undeniable in its dignified vulnerability as it is in its significance,” Kyp Harness, singer/songwriter, author.
“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.