Food Poetry: Bread, by Linda Pastan

Published by Friday, June 10, 2011 Permalink 0

after Levchev


“It seems to be the five stages
of yeast, not grief,
you like to write about,”
my son says,
meaning that bread
is always rising
and falling, being broken
and eaten, in my poems.

And though he is only half serious,
I want to say to him
“bread rising in the bowl
is like breath rising in the body;”
or “if you knead the dough
with perfect tenderness,
it is like gently kneading flesh
when you make love.”
Baguette . . . pita . . . pane . . .
Challah . . . naan: bread is
the universal language, translatable
on the famished tongue.

Now it is time to open
the package of yeast
and moisten it with water,
watching for its fizz,
its blind energy–proofing
it’s called, the animate proof
of life. Everything
is ready: salt, flour, oil.
Breadcrumbs are what lead
the children home.


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