I bore the yoke,

surging against the assault,

counted the thin space that buffered me

from disaster.


At the beginning there was obedience

but also the certainty of great heights.

After years of being unable to stretch,

there are no more prophecies or ranks to aim for

or glory for a future horizon.


The unknown is dense and impassable

as a steel sealed curtain.


Maybe here I can learn what Jesus always knew –

that prayers are speeches of the greatest importance

but listening holds more sway,

that obedience to God

is the only currency-exchange, must be

the authority of each step taken,

is the root determination of peace

or anguish.


The first time I held out my hand,

I expected tangible abundance,

fruit, seeds, candy.

Now I hold out my hand

and hope only

to keep it open.


The air is light, causing no pressure, no trembling.

It is easy in its emptiness,

lacking anticipation, lacking

a future, past comparison.



Copyright © 2020 by Allison Grayhurst




First published in “Our Poetry Archive” October 2020





You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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