It seems it has been there forever. But
if I think back, I remember
when it happened – dark, sticky
with a faint repugnant scent,
avoiding it, as to not soil
my shoes, avoiding because
What was it? Paint or tar?
Whatever it was it was most
probably toxic, not supposed to be there
where children ride their bikes, walk
their scooters, or hold hands with their
dead-pan caregivers or mothers
talking on cellphones,
holding both phone and child’s hand
with equal pressure.
I still avoid it like a crusted-over wound turned
to a scar, turned to a permanent deformity.
I have wondered why no one has every cleared
it up, chalk-drew over it,
around it, even the sparrows avoid it and I think
everyone who walks by, walking home or to the subway
pretends not to see it, because it does not belong there –
there with the sidewalk sweepers and garden planters.
It is an aberration – in summer, when
the snow melts, when the snow first falls.
Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Three times nominated for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2015, she has over 850 poems published in over 375 international journals. She has twelve published books of poetry, seven collections, eight chapbooks, and a chapbook pending publication. She lives in Toronto with her family. She is a vegan. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com