Bound to arrive,

face the mourning,

cradle its soft hand in mine.

Memory of a possibility, memory of a failure

to cherish as an infant’s plump cheek –

smelling perfect as heaven must smell

or a lover after a dive in the lake, laughing

with exuberance.


Bound to pace the carpeted floors, trapped

in a time-fold that repeats and never lets up,

reminders in the ceramic jar, in the dirty fridge,

in songs I hear and in ones I don’t but could

challenge to be born. Reminders on the upper level –

beds unmade, books askew on shelves. Reminders

of dreams that swarmed my mind, ethereal touches,

riveting fulfillment.


Bound to lay out the truth

like a cooked meal, consume it

and clean up the dishes. Alone,

unheard like before, but worse now

that doors have been opened and entered.

It doesn’t feel right, doesn’t feel like peace or

a place to make a home.


Bound to hold the breath of dread

like a small marble in the pocket below

my navel, or just above. Rolling,

rolling, giving way to its movement

when no one else is around, giving

honour to its creation.



Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Novelmasters” November 2016



You can listen to the poem by clicking below:




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