A Mother’s Bread

All life mother kneaded him 
from her ma’s-g’ma’s pain and joy,
from the bodies who all knew her
into the one she knew well,
collected from all the raw bits
lost, found, saved from breads baked-unbaked,
while the yeast swelled her stomach
and pocked her skin. She said, “Eat, child,”
and he fed ‘till her flesh broke.

In the dark oven she lifted him,
chest filled with his sweet-sour breath,
his body spread out in the cool
table light of day, fingers uncurled
in the dun brioche of her lap,
her hand cradling his in this new time
far from the mute silence of his
once buttered existence, trying
to suckle on a tongue empty world
knowing only his Kaddish.