River – songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst
Under the willow tree a girl
was standing, lonely with
the worst of nights ahead.
drink from the tarpit waters and swallow
the oysters that lost their shells.
She saw the drug the wind made
though she did not let it shift her steadfast heart.
Everywhere the notion stood
that fighting back is better than
the tender wave, better than
empathy and believing in affection.
The willow leaves have gone brown and the girl has moved
beside a cliff. She dances as though she
could not fall. And though they gasp to pity
her poor body against rocks and ridges,
she continues to move like a beautiful sound,
sure of the hand that guides her.
Copyright © 2002 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Out of Our”, 2012