Backtrack then forward

Backtrack then forward




staring at a verging

dignified future

without the disfigurement

of a beggar’s shame,

licking-boot gratitude,

and the lies you expect me

to live up to, get in line with

like the gummy-bear being you

think I am – a misdeed,

an aberration, desperate for charity,

and the smiles, pat-on-the heads

from the world’s elected ones

of shocking good fortune.


Things I know in the crevice of

my cease-fire, when I let my anger dissipate

and I rise above the long-lasting wound,

take no punishment and offer no prostitution,

then I know the grand gifts I have been given.

I conquer your societal meritorious upbringing,

declaring my own justice


declaring one light, one hell

I will not stride across or

venture into, not for you

and not to appease

the ingrained guilt brewing below,

jolting my integrity, scorning.



Copyright © 2022 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “New Mystics” July 2022

New Mystics July 2022 AllisonGrayhurst-9Poems


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:


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