ode to a loaf of bread

Flour, salt, water, leaven
4 simple ingredients
the DNA of a simple loaf of bread

Good flour, good salt,
sea salt of course,
mixed together, soft and white

Water, fresh from the spring,
water contained, life giving water
stirred with leaven
                                    growing, bubbling

Sticky dough poured out
folded, pushed down
with floured hands

        turn,     fold,      push,
                turn,      fold,     push,
                        turn,     fold,     push

until

a smooth ball is born
soft, floury, smooth

ball        cradled in a warm bowl

        growing
                               aging                    
                                                                    until

                pushed up                  and out

punch down,
                           pour
                                          out
gather into my hands
          turn,     fold,     push,    stretch

As I shape the loaf into a floury round,
it springs up in my hands
The leaven is breathing inside

A cross, cut into the top
breaks the surface making
4 deep grooves where butter flows like a river

Bread baked,
                  scent of flour, salt, and leaven
                                                             drift from the oven

Food of life
                                                        staff of life
who will eat my loaf
what table will it grace

Great Cathedral or humble street corner
Lord, or commoner
all eat a simple loaf

Communion, Lord’s Supper, Eucharist
wherever 2 or 3 are gathered
a simple loaf graces the table

A simple loaf
The staff of Life
Bread and Grace,
A simple loaf
Offered
Received
Eaten 

Ruth Jewell, ©July 13, 2020