That the bridge will hold.
That the river sliding past under ice—months from now
the muscled arm of it will unclench
into ocean, having tried to carry
the thick earth all the way down,
having mostly failed.
There are more varieties of ash than thorns
in a bramble. Think of all the things that will burn—
a hillside, dinner again, even the skin
in persistent wind. When the orchard unfolds
in a dream of blossoms, this means snow
has blown over the road in a storm. This means yes
the color has drained from the sky
and a father’s face.
All the smooth, untouched waters
of our lives are still ours
and were never ours.
Sometimes a stone is only a stone.
Hold still, will you,
while I consult the map again.
That all the sundered boats remember open water, and the wound
speaks of its own healing,
of put yourself back together. Now rise up
tender and gleam.
Copyright © Molly Spencer
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.