by Wilda Morris
When I asked Grandmother how to bake bread,
she said put on an apron, gather the ingredients.
Roll up your sleeves. Pour out a mound of flour.
Make a valley in the white mountain, she said,
and plant yeast. Let a little salt snow fall.
Make streams of egg white and melted butter flow
before plopping down golden yolk suns.
Let your fingers press and turn, mix and knead,
turn and fold, knead and turn to the rhythm
of your life, till it feels right. Roll it into a ball
round as the earth. Cover with a flour-sack towel.
Preheat the oven, grease the pans. Let the dough
rest while you sit with hot coffee and a neighbor.
Let the leaven have its way with friendship and dough.
Push the dough back down; press as life presses you
and your neighbor whose husband drinks too much.
Fold and knead, turn and fold, till it’s ready to grow.
Break and roll it into loaves. Put them in pans
and into the oven. In half an hour, pull out golden loaves.
Slice one hot, serve with honey-butter and fresh coffee
to that friend who craves bread, who needs something
warm and sweet to get her through another day.
First published by Alimentum.