Ann O'Neill

When Mam carried in the the big,
brown-glazed bowl for Sunday breadmaking,
it was a ritual to watch.
She'd set it on the floor, kneel,
blending flour and yeast foam
with slow graceful turns of her hand.
Then knuckle down, pummel it to life,
up to the elbows in dough,
scattering atoms of whiteness.
When it was silk-smooth and ready
to breathe itself a perfect dome,
she'd rest, the pattern of the rough mat
etched on her knees from her devotions.

Ann sent us her poems as an unsolicited manuscript, and we really liked them. So much, in fact, that we went on to publish them in May 2004 under the title The Sugar Factory, in which this poem appears, and which was mentored by Cynthia Fuller. Ann's poems are often about memories of the past, but written in a very haunting way. Her poems are full of atmosphere and strong images.

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Bread © 2004 Anne O'Neill: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.

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