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Tentative Theories

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.

from Poetry Northwest 11.2 Winter & Spring 2017More by Molly Spencer from the library

Copyright © Molly Spencer
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

Published in Molly Spencer Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.