Staff of Life
She stretches the bread dough on the cornmeal-dusted board
With just enough flour to make the mound silky.
It's a skill, achieved through effort and disappointment,
Elation and frustration,
Knowing when to stop working it
So that the spaces will make it hold its shape but still be tender.
It occurs to her that it is much like raising children,
Knowing when to stop handling.
Maybe that explains why she has baked so much bread since hers left home.
Kate Campbell writes and teaches high school English in Chester County, PA. A former corporate writing trainer, she also spent several years as a radio and newspaper reporter and editor and confesses to being a word nerd and grammar geek. She writes "domestic poetry," inspired by the mundane and miraculous moments of family life.