I see a fruit fly
on the mirror –
summer is a shallow blanket
lifting into autumn.
The moon has lips
like a shimmering worm,
wet from the rain.
The accelerant-fire came from a lightning blast,
after death, in-between
catching a breath.
The waters rose like a mountain
from a calming surface and engulfed my home whole,
sinking it into the lightless pressure below –
heavy, unbearable, rippling through each cell, each
cell exploding, axed of oxygen,
gasping for mercy in a merciless day.
I climb the stairs – the ghosts of that day
embedded everywhere, in the nails of the old wood floor,
in the claw foot bathtub, and in the dust on the shelves.
My mind rewinds, relives every fragment of horror,
saturating my pores, bloating my heart
with unimaginable panic, again.
But this morning there is peace in the hallway.
There is a sleeping, happy child who has grown
into a loving, dynamic man.
The rug was pulled,
but the furniture is now set right.
Breathe because breath
is all I have,
and this day without the quicksand-seizure,
this day to appreciate a peaceful morning,
to honour my son’s astounding life-force, and his smile
embracing the road ahead, his fighter’s dance,
quick-footed, energetic – a sturdy happiness,
perpetual, more permanent and potent
than the earthquake-eruption destruction
rolling (still visible)
in the wake behind.
Copyright © 2021 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Squawk Back Magazine” March 2021
You can listen to this poem by clicking the link below: