Daily Bread

Daily Bread
Poetry ought to have a mother as well as a father.

The men are smoking Winstons, wearing work boots,
worn denim, deep calluses, their flannelled backs to the fire.
They are riding away on motorcycles, pulling up

in trucks – semis blare and brake – there they are
digging trenches, moving mountains, there again
heaving haybales, picking apples, building scarecrows.

In their shadows, we are slicing Granny Smiths,
baking apple crisp, sorting whites from dirt-caked blue
jeans, sweeping mud-crusted tread marks

out from under the rug. We kneel by porcelain
tubs and sinks, soak cornsilk blondes in Johnson’s soap,
kneel to tie a toddler’s shoes, kneel to wash

a Savior’s feet. Someone must prepare the table –
sweet rolls wait for butter, sweet corn waits for pepper.
A harvest meal by candlelight, we whisper

with each other, laugh, clink glasses and drink,
dishpan and callused fingers clasped.
Without this waltz – the way we circumnavigate –

Sun pulls earth pulls moon pulls earth pulls us –
there is only exhaust and straw, hard work and dust.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others will be released in 2022. Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

One thought on “Daily Bread

  1. I would love love love to take pictures for you and your chapbook. That would be so exciting. Are you sure you want an amateur like me? If you do then I would be honored.BTW: the word for your word verification is lusck, and it makes me think of Mr. Lusk in high school 🙂

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