by Jennifer K. Sweeney

You need not confront the storm
though it comes with its guillotine
of wind and arrows of ice.
Let it come.
Take the wheat in your sage-rubbed hands
and pull out the dull chords.
Fold in Ravel. Hazelnuts.
Fold in the fury,
quarter notes rising from the grain.
These are your hands weighing the earth,
alchemy of salt and scale,
hum of clove bud.
Into the fire your life goes
to work its slow magic
and the song is the yeast
when the body wants
and it wants    fills    empties
as the day    fills    empties.
Song of milk glass.
Song of chaff.
That the thing delivers itself whole
like a blessing.
Feed the animal those brown fields.
Feed the rest of the body any tune,
any note will do.
Jennifer K. Sweeney is the author of two poetry collections: Salt Memory (Main Street Rag, 2006), available at, and How to Live on Bread and Music (Perugia Press, 2009), available at the author at This remarkable poet offers private instruction and poetry critiques. Learn more here.

Photo: Painted Bread, found at