My grandmother saved stale bread
in a wooden box on the third shelf
in her little pantry closet. She put it
on hold, as if the bread had come to
some strange junction in its life
where famished children must wait
and watch to see what it would become.
No one could question the temerity of
that woman. There was a strong line,
bright as a shining vein of sapphire
that ran in knowing little paths
across hands that could jettison a
fistful of blanks just as easily
as it could tear stale bread into chunks –
transform those chunks into an age-old,
famous stuffing recipe or into the luxurious,
rich mountains of golden baked pineapple.
I frequently found myself sitting on
the suitcase in the pantry closet and
playing with small wooden horses,
there, by the bread box. I wondered
what the stale bread would be by
dinner time and if I would be allowed
to skip to the front of the line,
before my father and his large plate.
I never wondered at the contents of
Or why it was packed.
Or why it never left the floor
of her little pantry closet.
© Laura A. Lord, 2016
I think, sometimes, poetry is best when it tells a story. My grandmother really did have a little pantry closet, with a bread box, where I would sit and play while both she and my grandfather, and my parents, played cards. I would hide in there with my toys and play for hours, as if that little closet were my own world. Though, she didn’t make the famous stuffing, that was my husband’s grandfather, and the baked pineapple came from my other grandmother, and the suitcase…Well, the best stories have a bit of a lie to them as well. There never was one.
Thank you to MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie for the wordle today and the inspiration!
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