Dying, an echo

Dying, an echo



Hardship harder than

the unprotected inferno I fell into

that has sealed above.

No courage will raise me out

of its burning cavity,

its lava-ruin grief pressing down

like a great wave of heavy water.

All that’s mortal in me is sick, subjected

to this bright and furious master.

All that is immortal in me has gone silent,

its sails clipped, its joy orphaned and emptied.


What happened?

How did this take me, pull me

into its unbearable heat so fast, so frozen,

draining my life-force with its hot poison,

leaving me no option of flight?

How did I become an exile of all I held sacred,

hardly walking up the stairs,

every breath a banishment from life,

every resting position, a pressure on my chest

like an anvil coming down, down

and staying its weight, concave?


What do I see? Nothing. Value

has turned to ash.

Love holds my hand but cannot release me

from this hell.

I wake up and prayers have failed me,

all my understanding has crumbled

like wafer chips of dried-out clay –

eagle broken, sliced up on a sharp rock.




Copyright © 2020 by Allison Grayhurst




First published in “Raven Cage Zine” August 2020


Issue 48

RavenCageZine48- August 2020



You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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