Our Daily Bread – by Susanna Rich

Domed loaf of home-baked rye
Grandmother Mumchy cradles in the creche of her arm,
presses to her breast, scores
its gritty belly with the tip
of her toothy knife—three crosses—
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
cuts off its heels—one for Muki,
one for me, because children
need the crust with all the vitamins.

She tells us,

White American bread is filled with poisons,
worse than stuffing cotton into your mouth
to wad up in your bellies,
to make rocks that block poop.

In cupped palms, we hold out
our bread boats, soft side up, for Mumchy
to spread with marrow to strengthen our bones.
She sprinkles on salt, black pepper, paprika—
the édesnemes kind, sweet and noble,
not csipős that would bite our tongues.

She makes us grow like this bread she kneads,
warms to rise, bakes in her oven,
cuts into safe and jagged slabs.
Amen, we say, and eat.

 

Susanna Rich is an Emmy Award nominee, Fulbright Fellow, and Founding Producer of Wild Nights Productions, LLC, through which she tours ashes, ashes: A Poet Responds to the Holocaust, Television Daddy, and her musical Shakespeare’s *itches—The Women v. Will. Susanna authored five poetry collections, most recently Beware the House and SHOUT! Poetry for Suffrage. Visit her at www.wildnightsproductions.com.