This shift is gracious

like a runaway found and comforted.

Disguised as an axe-lop,

as a callous reduction of earned respect,

this shift is permission

for exploration, expansion into

clear waters, tickled by the fish seen

circling below.


I can greet those fish,

each one as an individual, bend my body

and enjoy the details of their scales,

the space between their fins, and their lips,

thick and sometimes scarred

by hooks or other near-disasters.


I can give up my burden, my self-attention

and observe, appreciate their maneuvering

between my calves and shins, over my toes,

curious at these fleshy stumps of mine,

appearing in their home.


I can tell them I am friendly,

a friend, not here to make a disturbance.

I can be motionless for a while, because of the shift.

Because of the shift I am opened, receiving gladly

each delicate undulating swerve,

each nibble, sway.




Copyright © 2023 by Allison Grayhurst

“The poems included in Allison Grayhurst’s poetry collection Running, lightwave riding reveal an impressive artistic perfection and creative energy. The poems are full of lyrical force and show freshness of style. No doubt, this is a significant work. The poems have great power of observation and originality of imagination,” Dr. Karunesh Kumar Agarwal publisher



Published in “Hobo Camp Review” May 2023



Published in “Literary Cocktail Magazine” May 2023

Literary Cocktail Magazine Spring Issue 2023

Click to access Literary-Cocktail-Magazine-Spring-Issue-2023.pdf



You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



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