to no avail. Sitting as a new house sits
on its lot, needing occupants.
Sewer sludge, soiled napkins, anthills
too late underfoot. Held up by restlessness
in the many gardens of Mount Sisyphus, heave-hoe
to the point of rudimentary madness.
Windows I look through, birch trees I stop at
to collect nuances, rest like the sparrow in hopeful
camouflage, wearing myself down with unrealizable dreams.
If I had claimed myself a calling as a chaplain -
ritualized pacing in university halls, my arm
around youth, accompanying my affection
with a spiritual smile, then I would have
the certainty of some kind of career,
not be a carved body on fire, totem
of tripwires and aftershocks.
If I was a young starling neck deep in uncut grass,
pecking at exposed roots, I would be
sky, downspout, bush, tip of a cross on a steeple,
cured of isolation, taking flight and landing when I choose and
I would choose a fenced-in backyard
where a boy’s imagination owns the splintered bench, weeds
and a dug-up secret hole. I would watch that boy plot his course
and leap, knowing no separation,
I would spread, sing
Allison Grayhurst is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has over 290 poems published in more than 175 international journals, magazines, and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published ten other books of poetry and four 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 recently published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. She lives in Toronto with family. She also sculpts, working with clay.