One day early on in these Covid days, I shut my computer, stopped working early and decided to make bread. This isn’t something I do often, and I always start with some trepidation. Yeast holds so much potential for triumph and for tragedy. Is there anything sadder than a lump of dough that gives rise only to questions? Was my water hot enough? Was it too hot? Was the yeast old? What’s the meaning of life anyway?
I needed a visceral experience and bread making is exactly that. I wanted to lose myself in measuring and mixing–in creating. I yearned for a sensory immersion — dusting puffs of flour, the rich, fungal scent of yeast, the pull of muscles in my arms, and the dense weight of fingers shaggy with dough. The feeling of dough becoming more springy, more elastic, as my working hands and arms wind up its potential.
And then comes the wait…holding my breath…anticipating…worrying…
There’s a true understated elegance to a loaf of homemade whole wheat bread. Tied to the fields with grain yet aspiring to the sky, bread transcends its humble fungal and grain origins to become much more than merely a sum of its parts. I was looking for that miracle, and on this particular day, I found it.
as surely as buds blossom
its rich scent
with the elixir
of root-bound grains
and tiny fungi
of earth and sky
©Molly Hogan, 2020
The only thing better than the smell of bread baking is the taste of it, toasted and spread with some homemade jam.
for jam jars
in my cupboard.
Each taste a reminder
of warm sun, sticky fingers
of laughing, picking, gathering,
preserving berries and memories.
Saving the sweetness for a darker day.
©Molly Hogan, 2020
Thanks to Liz Garton Scanlon and her video about gratitude etherees for inspiring me to try this new-to-me form. I love the look–here it reminds me of spreading jam across my toasted homemade bread.
Thanks so much for stopping by Poetry Friday this week. To join in the fun, add your link below!
NOTE: I inadvertently set the time wrong in the party and as far as I can tell, there’s no way to undo that now that the link party is over! I’m so sorry!!! (If someone knows how, please let me know.) Let me know if you tried to link and couldn’t do so, and I’ll add you here!
Here’s Susan Bruck’s post about the three little kittens who lost their mittens: https://www.soulblossomliving.com/three-little-kittens-with-sock-and-glove-puppets/