Tuesday, December 16, 2014


My mother, in the final years of her life,
finally in the small farmhouse 
she had dreamed of her whole life,
with a flock of chickens to feed, 
and an old, shabby farmhouse kitchen,
spent a glorious year or two 
kneading dough and baking bread
and cinnamon buns,
that rose on the wings 
of her satisfied dreams
and fed her family.

"How I love it when you roll 
into the driveway!" she'd exclaim.
"You think everything is funny!"
(Everything is!)

She had given up on her dream,
but here it was, unexpectedly:
little hobby farm, with a pond,
a horse in the pasture, 
and deer wandering through.

She cooked up a storm till that last year, 
when her eyesight and her health 
began fading fast 
and she took to her bed.

I found her bread recipe the other day,
written in her by-then huge but still flowing script: Bread. 
And it's a funny thing.
I can measure and mix and knead 

till the chickens come home to roost,
but I can't get that darned bread 

to rise as it did for her,
in that white and brown kitchen on Plested Road,
where dream and reality merged 
for a few too-short, precious, golden years.

for Grace's prompt at dVerse: Bread


  1. Yes.. I remember that sometimes a recipe is not enough.. My mother never succeeded to bake my grandmother's gingerbread.. she tried every year (and i still have the recipe) .. but never the same...there has to be some secret ingredient

  2. you know that a recipe like that cements the generations, ours was nut-bread. My grandmother made it - with no recipe for she never learned to read and write. My daughter makes it now.

  3. Blessings or curse, the memories of several dishes my mother used to cook or bake, still set the bar for all around me; & my siblings & I agree that her bread, potato salad, chili, cinnamon rolls can never be duplicated; sigh.

  4. i bet in making that bread you felt a bit closer...right back there in this moment....its cool to find those recipes...and though you will never make it just quite right...or not the same at least...it gets close...smiles.

  5. This is so very touching....what a wonderful memory and a beautiful way for her to face end-of-life. If you don't already live on a small farm, maybe you should think about it. Perhaps therein lies the secret of bread-making.

  6. Interesting how so many of our mothers made bread. Mine did too, but the talent did not pass to me. I am glad, Sherry, that you found your mother's bread recipe. And I bet, with a few more tries, you just might get it right.

  7. All the poems, and yours in particular, make me want to go in the kitchen and bake more bread. Actually my mother does not make bread but she makes many, many other things.

  8. what I loved about this.... perhaps, this is where your love for nature started... the simplicity of a dream fulfilled... and the pureness of life's simple treasures.

  9. My mom has made homemade bread before, but it usually took the form of rolls. Since I can't share in the same idea as you I would like to say that we all have something that we remember our parents doing for us. There is always that one memory that we always cherish. Sometimes more than one.

  10. Goodness this made me very hungry Glenn ~ I am sure you miss your mother's freshly baked bread and smells of camaraderie as you break bread as a family ~ Very moving post too ~

    1. I meant Sherry, sorry about the mixed up of names ~

  11. The moments you share in this beautiful poem are priceless!

  12. Sherry,

    I enjoyed your bread poem. It is funny how we can't really replicate those old recipes. I think your mother had a secret ingredient..perhaps it was love.

  13. you know i'm glad her dream came through finally - and if only for a few years... and there are a few things as well that my mom bakes - even though i have the recipe, it just doesn't taste the way it does when she makes it...

  14. Oh, this was deeply moving - who knows what that magic, missing ingredient was? But I'm glad she found some peace and happiness, and that you appreciated her bread as you should!

  15. This is such a positive and lovely poem on bread. Some old recipes are forever lost because even though the ingredients are the same, the love and thoughtfulness that goes into making it have changed.

  16. This is very touching.
    Bread is like pastry... nobody ever makes it the same:)

  17. Sherry, thanks for sharing your memories of your loving mother. Even though you can't replicate it, if you made bread for your children, they'll feel the same way. Something about a mother's love is the leaven that makes it all special.


  18. very sweet and touching write... no matter if it doesn't rise, it's about the memories... wonderful to know your mom got to live her dream for a couple years

  19. Sherry, a lovely poem... Every family has these recipes, and they never turn out as well as grandma used to make.. but its the memories, and the special moments that matter :-)

  20. This is very nice, Sherry...something so basic yet it adheres people together more and in a better way than a lot of thing.

  21. Beautifully written, Sherry. Sweet, precious recipes and memories!

  22. That was lovely & touching too...
    Well written!!

  23. Cinnamon buns...my weakness. Pleased your mother got her country house and you got the recipes.

  24. what a touching memory, Sherry ~


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