Monday Poem

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Bread, House, Salt, God —the family of simple monosyllabic words.
–from Another Country, a memoir by Adam Zagajewski;

Bread House Salt God
Jim Culleny

The tsunami scent of yeast flooded our house
in the mornings my mother
baked bread.

Up through floorboards it came;
up the stairwell.  It spread
stirring our dreamselves awake.

Baked bread

A bell for the nose, its smell
shooed the sleep
from somnolent heads.

Broken bread

“Ye are the salt of the earth.”

It was said
as a breeze blew over
a wine jug’s spout
which made a lowing sound
as if a ghost were playing a bass flute
(as if there were such an instrument).
We heard with supersitious ears
and over our shoulders
cast that condiment.

A column of salt

Lot’s wife turned around
sorrowfully, her heart bled.
It beat back her anger
at what God did.

It ached
over the ashes of
each house
over the ashes of
ash Wenesday
over the ashes of
the day before
over smoking coals
glowing with
godjustice.

Un-named she stood
becoming a pillar of
sodium chloride
looking back,

watching tongues of fire
watching pillars of smoke
watching her world burn

condemned
for not keeping her
self hid.
///

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