Breaking Bread

Let me help you break the bread

with my family this holiday.

You step over the threshold, ignore the salt,

admire the braided beauty on the plate.

Chew it and savour,

linger on the aftertaste of generations’ toil.

Your family has a Domesday entry.

Mine is self-sufficient.

Grains are the pride of every house: maize and wheat,

we pat our mămăligă,

we mould our bread with tears and laughter,

age plum brandy in lop-sided barrels,

magic forth the salt from deep mines.

For what more do you need

for your gut to be satiated

for merriment to bubble up

and your face to flush with our endless questions?

Welcoming guests with bread, salt and drink. From doxologia.ro
Welcoming guests with bread, salt and drink. From doxologia.ro

Over at dVerse Poets we are talking bread in all its forms, getting ready for the holidays.

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27 thoughts on “Breaking Bread”

  1. mămăligă was a new word on me…domesday led me down an interesting rabbit trail as well….what better way to welcome guests than by breaking bread….sharing conversation and mingling our stories…

  2. Bread seems to be such an important part of family traditions in so many cultures. This is a touching account…I like that aspect of the toil of many generations. Bread is an important part of what is handed down to us.

  3. Did you welcome some British nobility recently? This Romanian bread looks delicious. Now my mouth is watering. You should have provided your family recipe. 🙂

  4. I admire how bread is part and parcel of our home and culture ~ Specially love this part:

    Grains are the pride of every house: maize and wheat,
    we pat our mămăligă,
    we mould our bread with tears and laughter

    Good to see you Marina ~

  5. Cooking is part skill, intuition, & love; so for some, of both genders, their cooking is a form of love making I think. We have friends who still worship the tradition, & with each new dish created, each new way to prepare meat, each new type of bread, they invite friends over to share it, in love, out of love, to share the love.

  6. This is such a beautiful poem, has that touch of old-school kindess and welcoming spirit. I especially got a lovely picture in my head when I read “and your face to flush with our endless questions?”

  7. for merriment to bubble up
    and your face to flush with our endless questions?

    Good question! One is forever in moods of wanting perfection. Others must try to conform to be in line but some just could not! Great lines Marina!

    Hank

  8. Salt at the threshold & the other family having a Doomsday entry.
    These made me think of pagans living among monotheists who view nonbelievers as damned (doomed). While you welcome all, asking them to leave behind their evil thoughts at the doorstep (not passing through the salt) and live the normal (untheologized) life of food, merry, friends and love.

    But I may be reading into it! 🙂

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