McGrath poem on Bread

From: Mike Hazard
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2014 6:40 AM
To: Barbara Bridges
Subject: Bread

Barbara, Here is that poem about bread, by Thomas McGrath.

On the Christmas white plains of the floured and flowering kitchen table
The holy loaves of the bread are slowly being born:
Rising like low hills in the steepled pastures of light —
Lifting the prairie farmhouse afternoon on their arching backs.

It must be Friday, the bread tells us as it climbs
Out of itself like a poor man climbing up on a cross
Toward transfiguration.

And it is a Mystery, surely,
If we think that this bread rises only out of the enigma
That leavens the Apocalypse of yeast, or ascends on the beards and beads
Of a rosary and priesthood of barley those Friday heavens

But we who will eat the bread when we come in
Out of the cold and dark know it is a deeper mystery
That brings the bread to rise:

it is the love and faith
Of large and lonely women, moving like floury clouds
In farmhouse kitchens, that rounds the loaves and the lives
Of those around them…

just as we know it is hunger —
Our own and others — that gives all salt and savor to bread.

But that is a workaday story and this is the end of the week.