Rodents and Wings
Days of holding up the second wall,
sustaining with syringe feedings and lifting
the broken Venetian blinds.
Days of extremes, straining to stay afloat
in a flood of despair and then given a
miracle season of joy until misfortune overtook again.
You told me to walk, and I did. You told me
in order to heal the wound, I must first see the wound.
You told to keep the water moving,
make waves with my hands and never stop
stroking the surface.
I loved without complaint- washed tiny toes in the sink,
kissed a forehead, made medicine in the kitchen.
My efforts worked, for a while
until they stopped working and death had its claim.
At the exact moment of death as I watched a body
struggle to sustain breath then stop struggling,
you gave me sight to see a spirit rising,
speaking of thanks and love and vows,
showed me the ropes of attachment, strings of light
that need release before a soul can give way to illumination,
dissolve intact, no vigor or sorrow, but merging with the whole,
into the light that is blackness, that is not void
but the absorption of all colour, holy.
You showed me and still I grew angry and embittered,
at a loss for comfort, destroyed of trust.
Two days I lingered enveloped in this terrible flame,
weeping, separated from the dance. On the third day,
you came again, pointing out
a passage of perfect meaning, allowing the sun
to glow and others to be stronger than me.
Crystal patterns converging. A crack muted,
a rift mended and filled, memories
and the harshness of a permanent end.
Two islands to surrender to,
two secrets painted on the beach,
on the backyard shed, in the inside,
giving in fully to emptiness overtaking,
as the calm begins to carve out a niche
where it can revive, return pure, all parts
tethered faithfully to the wind.
© 2018 by Allison Grayhurst
Published in “Along the Way: A Contemporary Poetry Anthology” December 2018
First published in “On Possibility: Poems and Poetry” January 2018
You can listen to the poem by clicking below: