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Three Poems | Allison Grayhurst

Cardinal
by Allison Grayhurst


We walked beside the wall
on a grim February afternoon.
Our lips parted wanting to speak,
but words grazed the soundwaves like
ghosts and our hearts sank.
We walked together, over logs of rotted wood,
through slush puddles, avoiding snowbanks
and icicles dangling from high trees, beside the wall.

This is love, you told me, and I knew it to be true.
I grew tired and you linked our arms. You grew despondent
and I looked into your eyes like looking at a flower.
The winds turned on us. Family dug ditches of judgment
around us, expecting our downfall.

The cardinal arrived, leading the way, navigating
us through – stopped on a wire while we rested, called at us
to turn a corner. Around that corner, holding hands,
the wall disappeared.

Our hair damp with snow, our gloves ripped
at the fingertips, we sat on a neighbourhood rock, in a yard
where nobody was home. The cardinal left when a stranger
appeared. You helped me up and we continue on

houses all around us, c…

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