A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature. Over 15,000 daily subscribers. Over 6,000 archived posts.
Vermont, June 2020
To punch what happened down and keep it down
ought to be a simple chore. Yet still,
resilient, the dough swells up to fill
above the brim that bowl there in the sun.
One batch of sourdough starter, it is said,
can trace its lineage generations back.
Each fresh loaf carries on the tangy smack,
fermented yeastiness, inherited,
revised, enhanced by its long passage through
decades of kneading by uncounted hands.
Let rise; bake; eat. Leftover starter’s fed
with flour and water. And the sour dough
rises again, again meets the demands
the living keep on making: Give us bread.
And starts again. It’s living. It’s not dead.
From Pandemic Almanac (Ragged Sky, 2022). Copyright Rachel Hadas 2022. Included in Vox Populi with permission.
Rachel Hadas is the author of many books of poetry, prose, and translations. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant in poetry, and an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.