photo by james barros
Deborah Edler Brown is a Los Angeles-based poet, journalist, author, and teacher, with two poetry chapbooks, several writing awards, a non-fiction book, and a variety of journals and anthologies to her name. She was born in Brazil, raised in Pittsburgh, and has family on four continents. She learned to dance before she learned to walk, started writing in grade school, and is entirely in love with the magic and rhythm of words.
When does breadmaking begin?
Does it start when flour is sifted
or before, when wheat is harvested,
or when wheat is planted in
visions of hot loaves steaming from
Does butter begin when churn is turned
or cow is milked
or when fat calf cries for grain,
is nursed with bottles so there will be
milk and cheese and butter
This kiss did not begin
when your lips touched mine,
when my knee touched yours,
when we closed the door to be alone.
It was planted
in the chance look I gave you in a bar,
thinking how much you look like someone
I remember kissing
although kissing wasn't on my mind.
It harvested the careless toss
of arm on shoulder, hand heavy as a
bale of hay, hair sunbaked wheat.
Each word and smile
pounded dough and squeezed full
udder, cut and pounded wheat to flour,
groundwork for this kiss to rise.
This kiss, fat and hot
steamed from the oven to our lips just
moments ago. But the recipe for
breadmaking has gone on
(Note: previously published in Loudmouth, 2003)
Deborah Edler Brown