Worn, magnified destruction
the crime of ancestral imagination,
crimes in your soup bowl,
on your forehead, marking like
a stain cross your face.
Come by home through the labyrinth
of your self-hatred. It was never yours,
only yours by default, only your father’s organ music,
only your mother’s chained solidarity to a monstrosity,
and you, lying flat on your single bed in
your simple room watching the firestacks
from the chemical factories, past the railroad,
far from the river where you would bike to
to claim yourself some peace.
Beer bottles and ashtrays and the harsh unpredictability
of irrational bitterness coiling in his dark eyes, distorting
his once handsome face – Do you know you are free?
In this mansion of hard-won truth, love as tough as marble,
blooming always on unexplored shores, counting on you
to thrive. You are mighty and you are needed. Do you know
you are strong, a masterpiece, a hero? It is better this way,
to have been crushed, eliminated, earning yourself such
raw beauty. You are safe because you have been emptied –
a cherished dream reduced to cinder, and you have survived,
a mighty force of love, my love, my eyes.
Despair is a weighted ghost, a guide who has finished its deed.
I love you even more with your softened rage
and your surrender. I love you like I have always loved you like
the first knowing of who I have finally found
a choir pure, vibrating grace into my bones,
feeding, formidable –
endless food, endless rest.
Copyright © 2015 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Stepping Stones Magazine” June 2015
You can listen to the poem by clicking below:
“Allison’s poetic prose is insightful, enwrapping, illuminating and brutally truthful. It probes the nature of the human spirit, relationships, spirituality and God. It is sung as the clearest song is sung within a cathedral by choir. It is whispered as faintly as a heartbroken goodbye. It is alive with the life of a thousand birds in flight within the first glint of morning sun. It is as solemn as the sad-sung ballad of a noble death. Read at your peril. You will never look at this world in quite the same way again. Your eye will instinctively search the sky for eagles and scan the dark earth for the slightest movement of smallest ant, your heart will reach for tall mountains, bathe in the most intimate of passions and in the grain and grit of our earth. Such is Allison Grayhurst. Such is her poetry,” Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.