In the Bakery

I stand in the bakery. The baker is silent, at work, unbothered by the commotion in the streets, by the kids who run in and grab loaves of bread without paying. He does his work; he is too much like the dawn to talk too much about it. Soon he will hand me the bread I asked for. When he hands it over, whose loaf will it be? I want to share my bread with him, this unmoved one, now moving and kneading his hands through the dough. He bakes bread as if it is the only thing he could possibly be doing. My duty is to eat what he hands me while it is fresh. I cannot let the bread get stale and hard, or eat it in fear that it will soon be stale and hard, or eat it as if I am the stale and hard one, and the bread the thing that will soften and refresh me. If my heart is not as soft as the freshly made bread, there is no bread in the world that will satisfy me.

I’m here in the bakery, waiting, listening. Rise, says the bread, as it’s taken from the oven. Wake, says the wind, as a customer enters. Enjoy, say the eyes of the baker, as he hands me his life’s work, not saying a word.



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