Thursday, February 28, 2008

Leavened Bread

There isn’t time for leavened bread to rise,
the soldier’s fists are pounding on the door.
We wipe the crusts of sleep from sleepy eyes

and look around us, bleak but unsurprised:
“We have to go now.” Wanting to say more—
there isn’t time.
For leavened bread to rise

there must be time. There must be peace. The sighs
of yeasty breath from tender loaves, before
we wipe the crusts.
Now sleep, from sleepy eyes

in children’s faces, runs away. The skies
are dark. We're full of doubt, but one thing's sure:
there isn’t time for leavened bread. To rise,

oh God, to rise from bed and realize
yesterday’s home is now a hostile shore!
We wipe the crusts of grief from sleepless eyes

and pack what we can bear. It must suffice.
Whatever else the future has in store
pray God for time, that leavened bread may rise
and we wipe crusts of grief from weeping eyes.

Dayenu.


--readwritepoem

12 comments:

Dale said...

Oh, this is wonderful.

ozymandiaz said...

a true classic yet so very contemporary. i would dare say a masterpeace. such a rich metaphore. juxtaposed beautifuly by the final referance.

Crafty Green Poet said...

excellent use of repitition in this one, really adding to the message of the piece

Leigh Lear said...

very nice indeed.

chicklegirl said...

I love the symbols here, especially the leavened bread and all it signifies. I loved the third stanza best, especially "The sighs/of yeasty breath from tender loaves"--I could smell that yeasty breath!

sister AE said...

I love this exclamation:

"To rise,
oh God, to rise from bed and realize
yesterday’s home is now a hostile shore!"

It touches my heart.

Christine said...

The repetitions work very well–especially how you change them subtly in each stanza.

Marilyn said...

I really like this.

pepektheassassin said...

*Applause* This is really a wonderful poem. The lining, the repetition works perfectly. Fine imagery, message, everything in this works together. Well done!

Linda Jacobs said...

This is truly professional quality! The punctuation that changes the meaning of the repetitions is inspired! Love it!

Andrew Philip said...

A skilfully constructed villanelle. Your use of variation in the refrain lines stops it from falling into the common traps for the form.

anthonynorth said...

This was marvellously put. Great use of metaphor.
Powerful.