I turn the corner and

someone has been here, picking up clover,
invading front lawns, rebelling against privacy.
A rat’s corpse as slender as a leaf lies at my feet.
I kneel down to meet it and I am stuck, retrieving
information about decay, the smell of a flattened skull
and the effect of dehydration. I get up. I walk
around not over, and butterflies are moving. They are
wrinkled energy lines, producing abstract patterns near
sturdy bushes. All roads are shattered if I look closely enough –
mini-fault lines of labyrinth tubing curiously crushed
like the nutshell is under my heel.
Summer is almost beginning – heat encroaches and people smile
untrustworthy but predictable. Dogs are minerals of volatile emotion
which they never struggle to conceal. The moon is still in the sky. It should not
be there like its is, a half-faded stamp, pale on blue, larger, closer
than the obvious sun.
In my fantasy, pinecones are edible. There,
there is courage enough in every relationship to feed the demands
of wedded intimacy. And I can sketch tall, yellow weeds. I can even paint
the striking space between them like dialogue. I can carve the curves
of a sitting brindle squirrel, carve where the tail meets the spine
and the spine, two twitching ears.
In my mind I am actualized, verified and seen,
vague dread is much like a pebble tossed and lost
under a parked car. Anytime I look into another’s eyes,
be it a hawk, child or mild foe – there is the colour of wet river stones,
a healthy delirium, the feeling of faintly floating
through deep-breath ministrations, into
puzzle-piece convergence.

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. More recently, her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series in October 2014. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com