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Arlene Weiner: More

The plastic bag promises “12 Grain Bread,”

and I laugh. If one grain is good, should twelve

be better? Are there twelve good grains?

And I remember, it’s Shavuot,

the Feast of Weeks, a festival

I don’t completely understand, the end

of the seven times seven days’ count of the omer—

something to do with grain. Wheat, I assume,

the staff of life. I’m shopping for my son’s little family,

whole grain for my grandson.


I look at the label to count the grains:

Whole wheat flour (one), malted barley flour (two),

rye, oats, (four), corn grits, sunflower seeds

(not a grain, say six, provisionally),

brown rice (seven), triticale (eight),

barley, buckwheat (a grass, but let it pass—

ten), flaxseed (don’t know), millet (twelve), soy grits.

A baker’s dozen? Most of them listed

after molasses.


Before he could speak my grandson learned

two signs, Finished, More,

like the first wordless words

at the breast, turning the head

or latching on.


More grains, more good,

more goods, the large life.


The festival of Shavouth celebrates first fruits,

seven kinds, and the early harvest of barley, not wheat.

I’ve looked it up now. The rabbis say

the forty-nine days of counting the omer

restrain the excitement of receiving the Torah

at Sinai. Forty years in the desert

endured by twelve tribes.


My grandson has speech now.

I sing for him,

Do you know the muffin man,

his favorite song,

hardly finish before he says, More!

(c) 2022 Arlene Weiner

Arlene Weiner is a poet and playwright who lives in Pittsburgh. Her books include City Bird (Ragged Sky 2016).

4 comments on “Arlene Weiner: More

  1. jbauer103waolcom
    June 12, 2022

    What a charming & engaging poem! I always learn something from reading Arlene’s poems. Thank you, Arlene!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emily De Ferrari
    June 4, 2022

    Why settle for a muffin when you can have the whole loaf? Lovely, thanks Arlene!

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on June 4, 2022 by in Health and Nutrition, Poetry, spirituality and tagged , , , , , , , .

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