The Reluctant Baker

 

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The Reluctant Baker

But you don’t eat bread.

I do now. Thin. Whole wheat. Dave’s.

Do they have it?

I don’t know.

I’ll get some yeast and start making bread again.
I’ve been wanting to do that.

Yay.

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No toilet paper. No popcorn. No yeast.

You’re kidding?

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I’m going to make sourdough.

Really?

We need to make a starter.
I can use a bowl but we will need some jars.

I cleaned out the shelves
and the recycling just came.
I got rid of the jars.
I think I have a pickle jar that’s almost empty.

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I don’t think it’s working. 

It’s cold in the house.
Beer bread is good, too.

I’m going to keep going.

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It smells sour.

I don’t smell anything.

You can’t smell this?

No.

Can you taste food?

I think so.

Let’s take your temperature just to be sure.

Okay,
but the starter doesn’t look
 like the pictures I’ve seen online.

It’s good. I can smell it.

Okay.

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It’s not working. 

Do you want me to try?

Sure.

Then you can bake the bread.

Okay.

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I emptied the pickle jar.
I put the starter in the jar
in the cabinet
near the stove.
It might be warmer up there. 

Okay.

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It smells sour.

That’s how it’s supposed to smell.

But it smells like pickles.

It’ll be fine.

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Ooooooooo….looooook.

What?

It has a few bubbles!!!!!

Uh. Huh.

It’s working.
Do you want to see?

When I come downstairs.

Okay.

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It’s time to make bread!!!
I’m so excited.
When do you want to take over?

How about if you make the bread?

Okay.

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Benny grunts.

Okay, here is a recipe that calls for lots of stuff.
How did people use to make this without all this stuff?
I just know they didn’t have all these fancy tools
to make bread a long time ago….

Benny sighs.

OMG.
Look at the number of steps.
A loaf of sourdough is going to take days to make.
Well, at least I’m home with little else to do.

Benny whines.

Okay, go chase the squirrel.
I’m going to find something easier.
There has to be something that is more sensible.
I know there must be.
I’m not a baker.
This is Colorado and a high altitude.
My mother always said you must adjust the recipe.
How do I do that?
Days.
It’s going to take days. 

Benny barks.

I’m coming.
Let’s go for a walk.
I need to make a plan.
We’re going for a walk!

Okay.

I’ll work on the bread when we get back.

Great.

“I’m going to make sourdough bread.”
What’s wrong with beer bread?
But noooooo,
it had to be sourdough.

What?

Nothing.
We’ll be back

Okay.

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Awww, look how fluffy the starter is.
I think it grew!!!!

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It’s really sticky.  

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Pull and turn.
Pull and turn.
Pull and turn.
Pull and turn.
Set the timer for 30 minutes.
Repeat for FOUR hours?

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It’s soooo pretty.
You are such a pretty mound of flour and organisms.
Keep on going.
You can do this.
I know you can!

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Let rest 6-18 hours.
Place in fridge for at least 12 hours.
Then bake.
You silly little round of nourishment. 

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Yes.
Release. Patience. Trust.
In the time of virus.

Author’s Note:

The challenge in our writing group was to write dialogue. I tried to keep exclusively dialogue to see what I could bring about in a minimum of words. When it came to Benny my dog I had to rely on stage directions. No too sure how to write his sounds. I’ll work on it.

Crow Snow

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Constellation Corvus
appears now in our night sky,

a hemisphere of northern points,
not southern,

on tail of serpent bearer, healer.
This morning you greeted us,

twenty or more of you
in field spread across tufts of winter grass on

snow melted into iced crusted mounds,
there must be food there.

This mid-winter’s day welcoming grace of flakes of snow
you’ve never greeted us with such abandon,

our feet close enough for dog nose to wish
an even nearer sniff.

Today in union with your clan
you walk earth with us,

call a welcome under clouded sky.
Maybe tonight as moon grows full

your points of light will draw us there, too,
together – Corvus, dog, and me.

Fog

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He sniffs the damp fence post, a reveal of who came before.
Deciding all is well, he leaves his mark
and we continue on.
Fog sneaks in behind us, a foreshadowing of storm.
We will not venture out into early morning falling flakes,
only because I fear ice that lays waiting to surprise,
A turn of seasons offers its own perspective,
leaving its mark for me to decipher.

 

Dog

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There is something holy
about the three of us
here in bed together,
a clouded sky at
snow’s first settling.

When you came to us
we were only two,
you made three,
a sacred number.

As you press against me
your gentle breathing
silky coat
a comfort to my day,
I am guarded from
that which diminishes
that which matters less.

A ternary,
we sleep.
Woman, man, and dog.

Bremen

Day Twenty Nine
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BremenBremenPawsColor

In the middle of dark night
I am careful in my step.
Gently I move around now empty space
no longer warm from your presence.

I climb stairs hoping to see
head resting on paws, bright
eyes connecting to mine,
hear the steady beat of your
tail against the floor.

I check to see if your
water bowl needs filling,
only to be met by bare wooden
floor boards discolored from years
of dripping jowls.

Our house rings of empty.
My heart still beats but
not loud enough to fill the space.

In gratitude I bow to your
being. You filled my life.

Good boy.

Almanac Questionnaire.6

Day Twenty One
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Sunday worship, a custom

child with hat and white gloves, black patent shoes
kneeling, hands folded, head bowed in supplication

guitars, women nearer the altar, kiss of peace

a pause, a long time gone

new words for old prayers, re-imaging Christ

no longer defined by Sunday or its tired form

In reverence of Redwood architecture
joining air to earth to that which lies beneath
I stand in awe of your strength
pay homage to your constancy

Three minutes down the city banded
alleyway, a wall to halt my vagrancy,
you press me to change my viewpoint,
look up instead of down, past high rise windows
my eyes ascend to glimpse a peek of sky where
buildings join air to earth
to that which lies beneath
In observance I discover
You are also here

Outside my glazed glass frame
a tree bows in reverence under snow,
crow, owl and squirrel, bees and spiders
await their spring ritual
Tree, oh Tree, you brush my face
in morning hello
tap my window in icy storm
wear that which I cannot control,
innocent release to what Is,
you welcome me to journey
enraptured I bow to You

Lilacs, lavender, iris
purple flora scenting air
fill my lungs with song
I chant Your being

In weep of rain,
I receive your indulgence
wash away quotidian dust
rain, oh, rain
a baptism of comfort issued
Your lullaby and caress

I fear of being homeless,
without a house to cover my form.
But You are home within my being,
a house not of cards to collapse
with slightest breath
but Spirit filled dwelling
where I rest and cry, sleep and love,
You place yourself within
to walk with me in holy sanctuary
all the days of my life

Leo was there to welcome him home,
a scrap from a letter, condolences from Pam
canidae, anubis, golden wolf,
protector of graves and cemeteries
I celebrate your unwavering devotion
Dog and God

Magdalene, a most notable person,
not whore who washed his feet,
that image only for those who boast
of saving souls, condemning sinners,
I know you as woman of understanding
the one who saw, the one who loved
the one who believed
I praise your grace

To be continued…

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Author’s Note:

Click for explanation of this growing poem!

What I’ve used so far…
Almanac Questionnaire
Weather: rain
Flora: lilacs, lavender, iris
Architecture: Redwoods
Customs: Sunday Worship
Mammals/reptiles/fish:
Childhood dream:
Found on the Street:
Export:
Graffiti:
Lover:
Conspiracy:
Dress:
Hometown memory:
Notable person: Mary Magdalene
Outside your window, you find: my Tree
Today’s news headline:
Scrap from a letter: Condolence card for Bremen from Pam
Animal from a myth:
Story read to children at night:
You walk three minutes down an alley and you find: Wall
You walk to the border and hear:
What you fear: Being houseless
Picture on your city’s postcard: