Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It Would Not Rise

Sometimes it happens. The yeast is old,
a draft chills the dough. The water's too hard,
there's no salt. The chemistry fails.
But I swear we did everything right
and still, it would not rise.

Were we not grateful enough
for the leavings from our masters' tables?
Did we grudge or shirk
the unpaid labor in their fields?
Did we grumble, kneading clay for strawless bricks
then home, to knead bread with those same chapped, bloody hands--
a waste of effort, it would not rise.

Moses and his brother talked of freedom
but it looks to me like starvation
in the wilderness. I'd wear those chains again
for bread. I fear I'm cursed now
until the end of days. It will not rise.
It will not rise.

Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside

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