In the middle, anywhere,

the Earth becomes a song,

a vision of its collected souls.

            As the snake inches forward, then

consumes the still frog, the frog

thinking its camouflage and stillness

is enough protection, but it is not,

as high above nebulas continue to spin and stars

touch stars and explode.

            How much compromise is permitted

before love loses its purity, its testimony to truth?

What is the threshold, obvious when reached,

when the deformity is complete and love

melts into a wickless waxy blob,

incapable of sustaining any flame?


            In my mind, I am seeing you

as when I was 15, 21, 45,

seeing your dazzling eyes,

the lightness in your walk,

your unencumbered joy, remembering

our summers spent in Montreal, Phoenix, Toronto,

in renewing conversations and camaraderie.

            In my mind, I will think of you

as one who has died and is not coming back.

Another spirit gone, to be thankful for

that you once were – like my father,

my many cats, rats, birds, big black dog

and my mentor.


            You slipped on the mud, slipped up

and couldn’t return or find the courage to keep on the path.

You detoured into the plastic city, with plastic

placements, plastic bedrooms and digital relationships.

            Poverty is hard, but still,

I expected so much more from you.

I thought we would take this to the end together –

as family does.

            You broke our pact. You broke my heart.

The whole of a heavy high wave has collapsed on my back,

and the once singular flourishing mountain that was us,

has cracked down its centre, nothing left

but a barren flatland –

not a sprout, not a sound, not an insect,

soulless, seedless, dreamless, forsaken.


Copyright © 2021 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Atunis Galaxy Poetry and anthology” March 2021, August 2021



Published in “Raven Cage Zine” March 2021

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You can listen to this poem by clicking the link below:


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