He Must


He Must


Bleak and thirsty, the child leaves the church steps

away from his mother. Older now, like a fledgling

facing a cat, he must learn when to take flight.

He must learn of such things as predatory eyes,

as the impersonal hardness of fangs and of heartbeats

that fade into nothingness, into the wind.

He must walk to the corner,

stay in the schoolyard by himself,

speak his tongue to the stupid and the mean.

He must stay pure in his burning for heavenly muses,

not become hard in order to hurt the soulless souls

or to defend from the blunt weight

of giggling cruelty. He must

take to the woods for awhile, alone with the elder trees,

block out the abuse in the lunch room –

seeking his kindred confidant

(for now)

in the unnameable stars.



Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst





First published in “1947, a literary journal” April 2017




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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