The thorn of
a hero’s anguish
and noble isolation
is not a wand
bearing a secret jewel
but the whisper of sweet suffering
that says it makes a soul better,
braver, ready to do the difficult thing.
It is the step before spiritual freedom,
not a destination, but the line of threshold,
the place of guilt when guilt is so big
it’s ready to explode, eliminating
the essence of its own nature.
It is the collecting just before absolute
surrender, the pain in the head that keeps
every touchpoint tense but never releases
the flow. It is the finger on the button
before the button is pushed, a way unreal, a stumbling block,
a purgatory of necessary importance.

Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has over 550 poems published in over 275 international journals and anthologies. She has eleven published books of poetry and seven collections, as well as six chapbooks and one e-chapbook. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay. Read other articles by Allison, or visit Allison's website.