It seems it has been there forever. But
if I think back, I remember
when it happened – dark, sticky
with a faint repugnant scent,
avoiding it, so as to not soil
my shoes, avoiding because
What was it? Paint or tar?
Whatever it was it was most
probably toxic, not supposed to be there
where children ride their bikes, walk
their scooters, or hold hands with their
dead-pan caregivers or mothers
talking on cellphones,
holding both phone and child’s hand
with equal pressure.
I still avoid it like a crusted-over wound turned
to a scar, turned to a permanent deformity.
I have wondered why no one has every cleared
it up, chalk-drew over it,
around it, even the sparrows avoid it and I think
everyone who walks by, walking home or to the subway
pretends not to see it, because it does not belong there –
there with the sidewalk sweepers and garden planters.
It is an aberration – in summer, when
the snow melts, when the snow first falls.
Copyright © 2015 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “The Literary Nest, Volume 2, Issue 1” April 2016
You can listen to the poem by clicking below:
“Grayhurst’s poetry is a translucent, ethereal dream in which words push through the fog, always searching, struggling, and reaching for the powerful soul at its heart. Her work is vibrant and shockingly original,” Beach Holme Publishers.
“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.
“Grayhurst is a great Canadian poet. All of Allison Grayhurst’s poetry is original, sometimes startling, and more often than not, powerful. Anyone who loves modern poetry that does not follow the common path will find Grayhurst complex, insightful, and as good a poet as anyone writing in the world today. Grayhurst’s poetry volumes are highly, highly recommended,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.