And Later I Will Forget About the Bread

By: Andrea Hollander

Featured art: From the Kitchen by Ruth Levy

I try to stop glancing at the clock, try
to focus instead on the task at hand, dusting
my palms with flour, lifting the round ball
of dough from the board, slapping it down again.

My son is driving home, his first solo trip,
his teenage eyes partially, I hope, fixed
on the highway’s center line.

From my kitchen radio, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.
I can never tell which one, the way I never remember
what Daylight Savings is supposed to save us.

I knead the dough to the music,
pick up the sluggish ball, slap it down,
push the heel of my hand into it,
fold it, pick it up, slap it down.

When my son was born he nearly died.
Now the clock declares him
five minutes late, then ten.

I place the dough into the ceramic bowl
he gave me for my birthday
and cover it with a damp cotton cloth.

The music moves from one season to the next,
the strings vibrant now and airy.
Twelve minutes late, says the clock.

The dough will surely rise. And spring
will come, then summer. But only
if the car pulls into the driveway,
his house key clicks in the lock.

Andrea Hollander moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2011, after more than three decades in the Arkansas Ozarks, where she ran a B&B for 15 years and served as Writer-in-Residence at Lyon College for 22. Her 4th poetry collection was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; her 1st won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Numerous other honors include two Pushcart Prizes and two poetry fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts.

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