She lies beside me,
wakes with bliss,
legs flailing as she grabs her father’s chin.
Eating is not simple, is a process
of song and distraction. Her will is
like the river’s tide when nearing the falls.
Sometimes she smiles with abandon,
nose crinkled and mouth wide, other times,
coy and half-made with lips adult-like
and meaningful. Her eyes are denim blue.
In the afternoon on the floor,
she raises her body on hands and toes.
She plays by herself with her xylophone
and toy car. When the day is waning
and the bathtub comes, she is nearing
the end of her resources. After splash time
and putting the cloth in the mouth,
when drying off she cries ‘ma-ma’
working herself into hysterical sobs.
We hit the pillow, her between us
talking and exploring the sounds of her voice.
Then her father turns the lights out,
and she snuggles into me to nurse.
I kiss her forehead and feel our hearts full –
three kindred saplings
stroked by the night’s June breeze.
Copyright © 2000 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Literature Today Volume 2”
You can listen to the poem by clicking below:
“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.