All the Light
All the light from the beginning
remains - even as long as time
and then, continuing on so that distraction
and fears blot out the exuberance, and sometimes
nullify with the dark chains that bind us to the funeral
ground, to the alcoholic’s breath and to the child,
too abused to even cry. That the sacred chalice
gets ripped like a paper cup means nothing, because
the light from the beginning remains with the intensity
it was born with, remains and cannot be removed.
And the light between us - sliced cruelly like a cow
into thin fragments for consumption, like that cow, still
has a soul, somewhere hovering in happy pastures, loving
all the while, like in the beginning, when it was born -
beautiful, knowing only its first intake of breath and
the sweet nectar of its mother’s protective warmth.
In this place of light and brooding, I smelt the
grapefruit in the morning under the August sun.
You were born and I miss you. Over 13 years of loss.
The day you left at 4:30 in the morning,
I felt nothing in the taxi but the sheer slap of horror
that held me for seven months, degutting every reality
that balanced my blood. I remember your hand -
feeling the thick knuckles, the same I felt
when I held it when I was a child,
safe, because of you and the confidence of your grip.
I remember holding that hand, cold,
without flow or sensation, for the last time,
knowing it would be the last time,
knowing you would not be my father like that again,
but be a memory that would change as I changed -
taking a life, as it now has, of its own.
Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has over 550 poems published in more than 275 international journals and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers in 1995. Since then she has published eleven other books of poetry and six collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press in December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series in October 2014. More recently, she has a chapbook Currents pending publication this August with Pink.Girl.Ink. Press. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com