He measures the grain, dusty and dry,
With the hand of a surgeon, with a carpenter’s eye.
Salt now for flavor,
Now yeast for the rising,
With temperate water gently baptizing.
Fondly He kneads His obdurate clay;
Its defiance with tender embrace He repays.
Again setting free,
In time with His creation’s immoderacy.
At last lies the dough, supple and smooth,
Pondering its singular encounter with truth.
To swell full with wonder,
Or shrink from its light?
To mount slowly skyward, or sink inward with spite?
In darkness and flame, the furnace awaits;
Time presses all to its inscrutable gates.
Yet, through its terror,
Goes the Baker before,
Remolding death into life’s corridor.
Submitting His Passion, the hell of each scourge,
To the once formless loaf He draws from the forge,
The Baker resigns,
His own glory denies,
He is unleavened that His beloved might rise.
Flavorsome or flat, the crust and the crumb
Of every fresh loaf to judgment must come.
Still, in His love,
The Baker tastes not the bread
Until it has with His own Body been fed.
© Elise Matich, 2012