Today’s poem is “Bread” by Jonathan Aldrich. He taught liberal arts at Maine College of Art for 25 years. His new and selected poems will be published by the University of Indiana this year.
He writes that he “had just tasted a buttered slice of home-made bread made by an eccentric friend of mine in Kentucky when the first line came to me and I knew immediately what I had to do. My wife also began making bread, but a high beep from the machine sent our West Highland White Terrier barking frantically around the perimeter of the room; then he'd do it every time he even saw the machine, so she gave it up.”
Bread by Jonathan Aldrich
There are many ways to live. Whole wheat
is tasty, so are rye and white
and sesame, oatmeal, acorn, maize,
bread tanning forever on trays
of dawn—in factories
and towns, on farms at first light,
even the settled hermit waking
breaks it again, this common thing.
As for me, I’d say one loaf
a day could be enough:
bread for your morning visit, bread
and honey, or bread with tea and marmalade.
Let nobody go wanting, and let the grain
be fresh and broken by the moving sun.
Poem copyright © 1977 Jonathan Aldrich. Reprinted from Croquet Lover at the Dinner Table,
University of Missouri Press, 1977, by permission of Jonathan Aldrich.