Linda Marie Van Tassell
Kneading Life - Poem by Linda Marie Van Tassell
I share the morn with autumn shades of rust,
and the maple tree stands in sky-swirled blue.
I sprinkle a handful of flour dust
casting my spirit like an ingénue.
These are the quiet moments that I love,
when light and water and substance combine;
and I can drift freely like clouds above
in the breath of the present and past, mine.
It’s no meager journey that finds me here
in this blue hour of reflective light.
I am the firstborn of my father dear
who strived and struggled and lost the fight.
Mother was an ache in the joint of time,
the long moan of a train riding the rails
who careened off track like a paradigm
or a ship left battered with tattered sails.
My sisters savor the east and the west.
They are the sugar and salt that arise
within the confines of my tender breast
whose dough yet rises like smoke in my eyes.
I am shaped by their footprints in the sand
washed clean by the echoes of morning light
and seasoned with help from a Master hand
who kneads me with pain to rival the night.
I punch at the dough and pummel the past.
Old lovers leave me with pangs of regret.
Each slice of my soul is a trumpet blast,
small crumbs of pleasure I’ll never forget.
Time has hardened my skin like calloused dough
in the womb of a burning winter fire;
and I embrace the flaming embers’ glow
letting it consume me, at once, entire.
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