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The Mail Order Bride Attempts a Letter Home

Read by Sandra Beasley

Mother he is
A gentleman of honor he is
A builder of ships
My hands have gone
Coarse, upholstered in
Orchard, mending, churn
My corset has
Collapsed, spider heap
I freckle, I lengthen, I watch
Other wives, the sweep
Of their skirts, their flocking
I am compassless, astir,
A map trembling
Mother I’ve grown
Taller I’ve let down my hems
I am fruit-stained
Mornings, my harvest: golden
persimmon, berries, pomegranate
Bleeding they’ve named
Their apples ‘Anna’
There are legends there are
Saints at night
He reaches for me, breathes
Windlass, ballast, mast he talks
In his sleep, make your bones
A home
for my love I am stair rail
I am threshold he goes through me
I am window undulating glass
I am certain
The hills crawl nearer
In the night their roll and swell
Mother I am well

Molly Spencer is a poet, an avid reader of poetry and almost anything else, and a mother of three. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Literary Mama, Adanna, CALYX, and elsewhere. A native Michigander and erstwhile Minnesotan, she now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their children.