Half a loaf is something; give me your blessing.
Then take the whole, and go finally free-
The stories are full of sons who journey
and women, always the women, baking the bread,
doling out blessings and cursings
conveniently measured according to disposition,
cleverly kept until needed, in walnuts and apples,
combs that turn into forests and swords that sing-
(“I used it to carve up the turkeys,” she grinned. “I’ll admit that i miss the thing…”)
conveniently dying young to make room for another-
take the loaf, my good mother,
with all my blessings, and run-
I will tell them you went for water with a seive,
and never returned.
It is always the beggars,
venture-capital fountains dressed in rags,
testing your nature by asking for bread from your bags.
I come from a city they come from,
and years ago stopped bearing bread.
so i may as well go to the corners
and share what i know-
/the third calf is your prince, and ask for what’s under the bed-
when you’re old, and you’re tired of ogres, you take things slow.
Here. Take this, you’ll need it. I look to the shelf,
find any old thing in the heap:
a lantern, a comb, a ruby,
a horn that puts men to sleep-
When i get bored i make things. Have this to keep.
It will get you in trouble, I promise, and you’ll be set.
Give those people a show that they’ll never forget.
Now let me go, go on, now,
there’s the road, and thanks for the bread-
i’ve a silk dress to fit in a walnut, because i can.