to trade these hands

for a house in the forest, landed

on a hill above any risk of flood, but near

a flowing stream


to tear off the shingles

for an open view, converse with hawks,

whisk out the stale air and leave

the smell of rain


to untie myself from this ball-bearing spinning

spider’s lair, empty that middle drawer and fill it

with the crust of shattered seeds, still green enough

to keep, keep

to help me make sense

of the seasons and explain the age of the moon,

keep them as momentums of gratitude, candy wrappers

or the dropped feather from a favourite pet – proof

of something once solid, soft and natural


to set the barn on fire

after everyone has moved out, and not

a swallow or mouse remains, gamble everything

on the gospel pages. This


is what

I am going to do, sooner than it takes a tide to

rise. I am going out the window, out on the street,

my face remade like when in the womb.


At first my loved ones will say Who?

Not before long, they will join me.

There on the street we will gather, cloistered as one.

There we will count to three, set out to race,

nothing at our heels, wide, in all directions.



.© 2018 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Merak” March 2019




You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



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