Molly Spencer: from Invitatory

May 3, 2023

Ford School writing instructor Molly Spencer's poetry collection, Invitatory, was selected as a 2022 New Measure Poetry Prize Winner. It is Spencer's third collection, joining If the House (University of Wisconsin Press, 2019) and Hinge (SIU Press, 2020). Invitatory will be published early next year.

from Invitatory

Considering our momentary nearness.

The planet we can't find but know is there,
the size of ten Earths,
because it pulls on everything—

field and edge of field
light and wing-bone, the far stones
of other moons, something dropped in the night.

Considering the moon's grip
on the snarled sea

and the fraught raft
into which a father lowers
his child, a slender prayer

in his mouth—have mercy.

The green untroubled heave of waves.

Considering all the words for gone,
each day I wake

to a pillar of light kindling the room
into being once more.

A crease in the rug—someone's future stumble.
The pale melt of bedclothes at my thighs.

Mine is not the face of peace but of the found-out.

The lamp's diminutive thorn
of light sharpens at my bedside—
a whole world waiting

for my yes.

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