Things I Must Learn


Things I Must Learn


        To speak like I should

in the wayfaring night, to

hold your hand when the shelf cracks

and the books are all read, when the fridge

carries only last week’s fruit.

              To lean my head on your heart and

let you speak your need, instead of curling

under the blankets like an angry, disturbed thing.

              To kiss your lips when nothing is going on, when

the dried flowers crumble to the floor and

the guitar strings have snapped, when summer

is only a month away and the city prepares in the same

dull way.

              To touch your arm when the shower curtain rips

and a spider’s eggs lay behind the bathroom mirror.

              To be kinder than I’ve been,

to wrap a hand around the back of your cold,

delicate neck.

              To take pictures of you

in the afternoon, loving you better

when darkness inevitably descends.



Copyright © 2000 by Allison Grayhurst





First published in “the chicago record magazine” August 2015 and in “Wicked Sixe’s”, Fall 2015

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chicago record- Wicked Sixes


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.



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