Even so, the first bird

May 22, 2020

By Molly Spencer, writing instructor at the Ford School

In the west, etched and bony light of moonset.
East, warm breath of sun

             fleshing the sky. Nothing

will ever be as legible
as these hills, still
black with their faith in themselves,

       even as the stars drift

away again. Even as children wash up
on beaches. All those gunned down.
Even the fires, the gaining seas,

the waters churning
between one heart
and the next
       heart, silt settling in the low spots—

Even so, the first bird has begun
the oldest song. A light

flicks on
over a sink.
Someone is awake

       somewhere. Today is Wednesday. My body

adds itself again to the unfolding
rooms of time,
foot on the stair. This is how to go on

with the broken world—

little spun
ball, lifeboat, faithful, fist
full of wildflowers with their roots pulled loose.



From If the House by Molly Spencer. Reprinted by permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. © 2019 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved.

Below is a formatted version of this article from State & Hill, the magazine of the Ford School. View the entire Spring 2020 State & Hill.