Sunday, September 1, 2019




The heat rose that summer, as it did every year,
in thick nauseating sooty waves from red bricked
buildings, black asphalt and gray sidewalks,
the unrelenting humidity trapping us in sweat.
Brooklyn it seemed, that younger heaven,
had slipped into the Hudson and found its way
out to the great Atlantic and on to some tropic.
We so yearned for an air-conditioned escape,
cold sodas and chilled bowls of ice cream.
Cool back then could be had for the purchase of
two red tickets, one for my mom and one for me.
Only fifty-cents each for air-conditioned movie seats,
heart-throbbing honey-dreams and sugared
drops of sultry lives and deftly stirred emotions.


you left one winter day to balancé on sunbeams
and pirouette on the moon, artfully swirling
lunar dust and scattering it over our dreams,
sparking our lives with your memory, your love
a legacy of dance for tiny ballerinas
…………see us now . . .
as well-worn as your old toe shoes


In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti …

Clad in blue-gray woolly plaid, black oxfords
and pressed, pristine white uniform-blouse
on the morning walk from the dorms to the convent,
past the apple orchard dripping rubescent fruit,
past long-lashed benign cows gently grazing,
walking briskly across that green pasture land
into the greener wood rich in conifers and
the piney debris that crunches amicably under foot,
in single-minded pursuit of that brass-hinged door,
on into aprons, to Sister Mary Francis, the kitchen, bread.
… we therefore beseech thee, O Lord, to be appeased, and to receive this offering of our bounden duty, as also of thy whole household …

The romance was not with bread to eat,
but with yeasts to proof, batters to mix,
and dough to knead, and rest, and grow –
that beautiful, mystical living thing you have
before the baking and dying into bread, and with
the crackling timpani of wood-ovens firing up, pans crashing,
the rhythmic swish and sway of our community,
punctuated by the clicking of Sister’s rosary as she
monitors the students and novices in silent industry at bakers’ tables.
This is the sacred work of those meditative hours before Mass and school
and the business of music lessons and art classes and
the methodical ticking of Liturgical Hours until finally Compline, sleep and
the contemplation of that final sleep and dust-to-dust.
And this being Tuesday, the day to commemorate St. John the Baptist,
and the day to bake our bread for the week to come.
…order our days in thy peace; grant that we be rescued from eternal damnation and counted within the fold of thine elect. Through Christ our Lord …

The next bake day, Thursday, commemorates the Holy Apostles.
Oh, palpable Presence, we work in the silence of Adoration,
preparing pure wafers for a week of Masses.
In a solemn alcove reserved for this task,
we mix flour, salt, and holy water blessed by Father Gregory,
then the fragile process of baking on baking tongs,
silvery antiques, perhaps a hundred years old.

… which offering do thou, O God, vouchsafe in all things …

Receiving the Eucharist
knowing it was formed by my own hand.
…to bless, consecrate, approve, make reasonable and acceptable
that it may become for us the Body and Blood of thy most beloved Son,our Lord Jesus Christ…

Friday, The Cross and Theotokos (Mary),
mother of both God and man, Divine and human.
A girl, like me, perhaps a baker of breads.
…who the day before he suffered took bread into his holy and venerable hands, and with his eyes lifted up to heaven, unto thee, God, his almighty Father, giving thanks to thee …

Mysterious. Numinous. Inexplicable.
A lifetime ahead to figure it out.
Ecce Panis.
Take this Bread.
… he blessed, brake, and gave to his disciples saying: Take and eat ye all of this…
from the pastures and the woods, from the sky and the stream
from nature’s great cathedrals, everywhere present
... hoc est enim Corpus meum…

for this is my body
for this is my life

“Where is God? Wherever you let him in.” Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgensztern of Kotzk, Poland 1787


JAMIE DEDES: She is a writer, poet, and former columnist. She runs The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers and she is the Managing Editor of The BeZine, published by The Bardo Group/Beguines, a virtual arts collective she founded. Her work is featured in a variety of outlets including Levure litterautre, Ramingo's Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Compass Rose, Connotation Press, The Bar NoneGroup, Salamander Cove, Second Light, I Am Not A Silent Poet,Meta /Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.

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