Dad's Bread Bowl--Ceramic

by T.A. Delmore

T.A. Delmore is the author of Ecllipsing F: Crow Poems in Three Parts
Eclipsing Crow book cover

It has a crack inside.
For that matter
it continued outside.
That huge crater helped
create bread for a generation.
Maybe the chip on the rim
was a hurried put-away
for a quick escape
into the rarity of snow.
That ceramic bowl
was more a pantry
than any item in the pantry.

This barren bowl has not felt
the warmth
of expansion of dough by yeast
nor the cover towel, that hid
such mystery, since dad died eighteen
autumns ago. And yes, the click
of his watch to a ceramic edge
is now an echo in my mind.
It doesn't matter what the results;
rolls were consumed, individual loaves
coveted. If love were measured by the effort of
making bread
Fr. Eckstein would have bestowed sainthood.

But dad hit us all, and bread cannot
rise without yeast.

Now this bowl of plenty
sits dusted on a shelf, for viewing
and reminiscences only. The function of making
bread in this cauldron of memory
would unleash sounds
that may be trapped like the dead spider
I washed out the other day.

      - T.A. Delmore


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