JM ( / )

Carolyn In The Kitchen, Baking

from heart, from an old Italian recipe
handed down
through generations: flour, salt, yeast.

She's teaching me technique, measuring
precisely the oregano, garlic,
basil and thyme—olive oil and water

for baptism—a blessing shining in full
purity. She works
the dough, kneading and kneading

until she feels its energy, its warmth.
Every minute thickens
the texture. We are keeping a promise,

an old tenacity anointing the surface
with oil; each gold bead
strung like rosaries into a prayer, as though

the oldest branches of our heritage
reach out of the urns
of Tuscan bronze and cypress.

What endures, grieves, is an observance,
and yet, a loyalty
that is beyond measuring, beyond any shape

or form. We fold, press, turn—follow it
through to preservation,
then mold the mixture into a ball.

Cover with gingham. And let it rise.

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