Friday, April 22, 2011

I Am Many Women

I have been cleaning and sorting and getting rid of things in preparation for putting my house on the market. Today I found this poem that I had copied from the inside of my sister Jane's recipe book when I was at her house last year as she was dying. Jane was a wonderful cook and baker, and she loved to make bread.

It seems an appropriate poem for Good Friday.

I Am Many Women

When sky and street merge in sullen grayness
and black trees stir in sleep,
my stove becomes a hearth.
I am many women who have looked at rain
through a flap of hide, from a handhewn door,
and felt secure against a threatening world,
blessed within warm walls and sheltering roof.

Hands deep in flour,
powdered grain from a million fields
garnered in sweating sunlight,
I am many women who have kneaded resilient dough
with strong hands . . .
brown, red, yellow and white hands.

Folding and stretching, shaping
smoothly contoured loaves
rich with the smell of yeast.
(Bread is like nothing so much as bread,
sacred in its own identity.)

The sky trades snow for night,
and the scent of baking loaves
is calm benediction for my home.
I am many women who have taken bead from an oven,
and breaking it . . .
felt consecrated.

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