Posts Tagged ‘bread’




It was this day, eight-nine years ago,

that Otto Frederick Rohwedder,

a jeweler from Davenport, Iowa,

got to see his invention in action—

yes, in Chillicothe, Missouri, a baker

used the bread slicer. Everyone said

it wouldn’t sell. Everyone said

the bread would go stale. Everyone

said the idea would fail. It’s compelling,

sometimes, what everyone says.

But sometimes, perhaps like Otto,

I hear the voice beneath the others.

It tells me to believe in improbable things.

Like poems changing the world.

Like Keatsian love. Like the immeasurable

pleasure that comes when the lever

goes down and all through the kitchen

floats the warm and earthy scent of toast,

the morning improving two slices at a time.


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Today it’s the bread
that reminds me
how human I am—
how I want people
to like the bread
that I baked, how I hope
they can taste
the organic grain
that I ground myself
for the pleasure
of grinding it, sure,
how I can get the texture
just the way I like it,
but also for some small
way it makes me feel
as if I am a better person
because I have ground
the flour. Oh it is
so tricky, the way
I start to believe
that if the people I love
like the bread I bake
that they will like me more.
As if rye and winter wheat
have anything to do
with who I am.
But I do not despise
the bread for this. Its taste
is the taste of harvest,
sunshine and rain,
patience and earth.
The bread wants nothing
and nourishes despite.
Nor do I despise myself
for the longing to be loved.
Well, not much.
So human, I tell myself
to think we’re not enough.
Of course we’re enough,
Of course. Just as we are.
Still, I can’t help but wonder
if I made the butter, too,
well, then they might really,
really love me.

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too many to count
petals on the orchard floor
he loves me?


rusted lock
in the heart’s back pocket
a spare key


snow on the ridges
come spring what else
will be missing?


almost asleep
these hands still kneading
soft dough


he talks
and talks and talks and talks
about listening


no temple bells
still the crow goes on
about awe, awe

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