Worn, magnified destruction
the crime of ancestral imagination,
crimes in your soup bowl,
on your forehead, marking like
a stain cross your face.
Come by home through the labyrinth
of your self-hatred. It was never yours,
only yours by default, only your father’s organ music,
only your mother’s chained solidarity to a monstrosity,
and you, lying flat on your single bed in
your simple room watching the firestacks
from the chemical factories, past the railroad,
far from the river where you would bike to
to claim yourself some peace.
Beer bottles and ashtrays and the harsh unpredictability
of irrational bitterness coiling in his dark eyes, distorting
his once handsome face – Do you know you are free?
In this mansion of hard-won truth, love as tough as marble,
blooming always on unexplored shores, counting on you
to thrive. You are mighty and you are needed. Do you know
you are strong, a masterpiece, a hero? It is better this way,
to have been crushed, eliminated, earning yourself such
raw beauty. You are safe because you have been emptied –
a cherished dream reduced to cinder, and you have survived,
a mighty force of love, my love, my eyes.
Despair is a weighted ghost, a guide who has finished its deed.
I love you even more with your softened rage
and your surrender. I love you like I have always loved you like
the first knowing of who I have finally found

a choir pure, vibrating grace into my bones,
feeding, formidable –
endless food, endless rest.

Allison Grayhurst

Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has over 450 poems published in international journals and anthologies. She has eleven published books of poetry and five collections, as well as six chapbooks and one e-chapbook. She has appeared in include Parabola (summer 2012); Literary Orphans; Blue Fifth Review; South Florida Arts Journal; Gris-Gris; The Muse – An International Journal of Poetry and many others.

She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com

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