I am not ready
to empty the closet
and carry my wardrobe to a grave.
Not ready also to harvest
the hummingbird’s song, touchdown
on dark gravel –
cheek pressed against sharp rock
and no one to lift me, link arms, walk me home.
I am not ready for an erratic heart rhythm,
setting flame to the partition between that rhythm and death.
I still have children, a lover of wedded dignity,
animals that need me in spite of my
malfunction and heartbreak.
Break everything ever written. The trees are naked.
Faces are naked, cursed by love. Culture is never
worthy, never a strong enough opponent against fear.
This time the spell is different – a scourging wave
upheaving the weather, ancient occupations.
I am not ready to cross through this transformation,
over pathless territory, fluctuating temperatures, changing
more and more,
not ready for the monastery or
to watch the angels bleed.
I am not ready to give up my home,
to bury my key under a brick
while brutes push past me, break down
the front door.
Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Tuck Magazine” January 2017
Published in “JD DeHart – Reading and Literature Resources” August 2017
You can listen to the poem by clicking below: