Bread of Life


Somewhere far from
this sunlit table, grains
of wheat were spread
over a field of dark earth,
opened as though for
a burial, and then
covered by the fall rains.
There, it seemed, they died.
And when new green came,
stretching up to the light,
it was only to find the days
shortening, the nights
becoming long and hard
and cold and deathly still.
Under snow they waited,
a field of orphans, huddling
for warmth, then growing
until at summer’s end, heads bowed,
they were taken away,
stripped, crushed and ground
down in a harsh transformation.
In the oven, kneaded and
changed, they rose again,
flooding the whole place,
as the door was moved away,
with their sweet breath,
the cheering promise
of nourishment.
And here once again
they are broken,
lifted on a tray,
spread among us
to be buried in us
to remind us of death
And to bring us to life.