In Labour

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Contributor: Allison Grayhurst

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Marked in the morning like a country
finally lost and then
replanted. Or autumn in the hardened
inner walls, wearing down,
preparing for the onslaught of cold.

I am neither in the shadows nor building beauty
like pity that outlasts mercy
and all wounds that curse mercy
in the cradle of its infant power.

Blazing earnestly at first until instructions falter,
glowing faint under duress, until all that is left
to be heard is a mild ‘maybe’. And shapes
without fields or dunes prevail in the un-sunned landscape.

Planets make themselves known by the friction they bestow,
by the damage of their effect and endurance.
I draw out my ecstasy sitting under a table
where there are no footprints save but what small animals make,
adorning with their furry glory
the richness that lies below.

Marked at the closing. Blowing
into a cave. I would give it all to feed again
from your stick, minus myself on the chopping board
of thorough understanding, touch
the throne of your tenderness as I did once.

Once, when my anguish had no restraint,
teeter-tottered on a sawdust precipice with gruelling frenzy,
and I was on my knees
in a donut shop bathroom
as it burst through.

I was purged in the blizzard of my making,
electrified by love that was more than love, bursting.

Swaddling that still-seething anguish with a thousand kisses,
breaching allegiance to patience and remorse,
I was cupped in the golden constellation of your hand, arriving
eclipsed, momentarily

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Allison Grayhurst has had her poetry published in over 115 literary magazines Her book, Somewhere Falling, was published by Beach Holme Publishers She lives in Toronto, Canada. She also sculpts, working in clay.


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