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Forbidden Grit


Gail Grycel

It’s not quite the kind of grit

blown into the eye by wind,

only released by flooded tears.

It’s not the sort of grit

pushed by pebble

between sole and sandal,

chafing defenseless flesh.

It’s not even the brand of grit

landed on tooth from un-rinsed

seafood-in-shell, positioning

just right for the sharp bite.

It is the type of grit

embedded in the raw and tender,

eroding what cannot be flushed,

ripping scabs from crusted wounds.

Familial grit so deep,

unbearable silence leaks

from every remembered crevice,

every awkward attempt at recovery.

One can lean in only so far,

numb, enduring grit gnawing—

in the eye, under foot, in the mouth—

gnawing at the swollen edge’s

of a child’s memories.

From lineage too broken and bruised,

all one can bear

is to liberate the guilt.

Gail Grycel travels solo, with several pairs of dancing shoes and hiking boots. Her writing responds to the details of place—inner and outer landscape, and has been included in Vermont's PoemCity, Anthology of Women's Voices by These Fragile Lilacs Press, Writers Cafe Magazine, S/tick Magazine, and Burning House Press. When not on the road honkytonkin’ to Texas two-step bands or hiking in the high mountains of the United States, she lives in her self-built straw bale home and works as a custom cabinetmaker and teacher of women.

Gail Grycel
Gail Grycel
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