White Bread Mother

My white bread mother is sliced thin.
She sidles from room to room on feet of soft crust.
Sometimes I don’t hear her when she approaches;
I am reading something, I look up and
there she is, staring at me
with her blank preformed face.

I wanted a whole-wheat mother,
mouth-full and nourishing,
who wears bandannas, smells like a bakery.
Or a ciabatta mother drizzled in oil, soaked in herbs,
with a red lipstick mouth like a slice of tomato.
Or a pretzel mother, chewy and salty,
who talks loud and laughs louder.

Even a banana-bread mother,
almost too sweet and rounded on the edges,
making the best of all things overripe and not apologizing.
(Some people like banana bread the best.)

There are days I want to push her in the oven,
toast her to ashes.
I’d pick out crumbs and
scatter them underfoot.
I’d pull off pieces and
feed her to the ducks.

Then I could have a duck mother,
greasy and dripping and savory-sweet,
ready to carry me home over the water.

Originally published in Illumen, Spring 2016.

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