creative writing,  poetry

Poem: Knowing and Kneading

honey molasses bread round dough after kneading

Can you feel your ancestors while kneading dough?

Pull it toward me,
Push it away and turn
A circle in my hands
Round and around
And round again
Until yeast and flour
Tell me it’s time.
I never saw my mother bake bread.
By the 1960s, Holsum came in
Crinkly plastic bags,
Sliced perfectly, smelling of nothing.
Sometimes the scent of one
Bay leaf would call me to the kitchen.
My father had brought home
A Cuban loaf,
Salt and olive oil completed the taste
Forever branded on my tongue.
Crumbs everywhere.
I pressed my fingers on the table to
Lick every last one.
And then the story ends,
Flung overboard in migrations.
Whose shoulders carried spring water
Whose hands pounded grain
Whose voices sang melodies
In the mountains of Asturias
I’ll never know.
Did they dream of me across
Oceans of time?
I dream of them now
And our hands knead the dough
I have no daughters to watch me
Bake bread,
But I pull, push and turn
And the story begins again
In the kernel of these words.


— December 2022
Originally published on Facebook

artisan of words | award-winning indie writer + journalist, poet | teacher | publisher of #heartcenteredliving new and founder of the #heartcamp unconference