A poem a week until the entire book is blogged.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Grace at the Heart of the World

She's not much for recipes. The bowl sometimes
invites her, and she oils it, cracks a duck egg 
or two, throws in a bit of stock or well water,

maple syrup and leavening, and says to it:
sit there and I'll be back with something for you.
"Something" might be a beet leaf, or an apple,

or a spray of young mint -- once it was a whole
handful of chives. Chopped and thrown in,
the whatever might vanish under oats or rye,

buckwheat flour, or crumbs from the last loaf,
and then salt -- late, so as not to insult the yeast.
Last, she may tug the spelt barrel from beneath

the counter, and dip a porcelain bowl into
the cool brown powder five -- six -- seven 
times. She stirs the makings between heaps

with a pair of chopsticks. Never quite
the same thing twice! In summer she'll oil
a crock pot and turn the lump in to bake;

in winter, a Dutch oven. In either case,
the secret is prop the lid onto a chopstick,
letting a little steam out over time.

The end is not the prettiest bread you'll ever see,
nor the best tasting, she'll admit. But slice it,
add a little butter to it still hot,

and sit, eating slowly, in a western window
as the sun goes gold, then falls. Are you not
now the grace at the red heart of the world?




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