Sunday, March 17, 2013

A poem to go with the bread

... by Laura Jensen, the title poem from Shelter. A good example of how a day can contain so much.


I had bread rising in a warm oven.
I dusted what was left of the flour
off of and into my jeans
and went downstairs and opened the door
for mail. I found
a woodpecker dead on the threshold.
A hawthorn berry beside it.

I brought a box of white plastic packing chips
down and petted it on the feathers then
picked it up in my hand,
the feathers warm, the body light
and cold. It fit exactly
into the hollow I made for it.
The hawthorn berry beside it.

I left it on the kitchen table.

I thought of it looking
for shelter, coming only into the porch
to a nest at the corner the door made
where it met the jamb, the whole of it
carved with leaves and varnished
in the summer when the landlord repainted.
Or flying into the shapes of blowing trees
in the door window.

And I thought of three tame trees where I walk
that had brushed my head and filled it with dreams
that fell in the summer
to be cut for firewood.

I found a broken shovel
that sits at the side of the house
and buried it bare in a break in the clouds.
Beside the house, under the hawthorn.
The hawthorn berry beside it.

As I walked back to the stairs
the box fell open, and chips
shaped like esses and ees
flurried out on the wind like flakes of snow.

And I took the bread out of the oven,
baked now. An oatmeal loaf.

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