Furious Bread

By Chryss Yost

The yeast wakes up, faster than sourgrass after the rain.
I warm the old bowl on the pilot light, as my grandmother did,

scrape level the measure of flour using a knife’s flat back.
There is no end to stubborn in this world. Even flour

fights like it would rather be grain again, recoils after every stretch,
the dough thick and heavy as a lump of potters’ clay.

I push hard, throwing my weight behind each stroke,
arms stiff, lifting on my toes. Flatten, fold, turn, flatten, fold.

The newspaper on the table shows a senator. Resolved,
he says. One man, one woman. His God will not be swayed.

I pound the kneading board, knead until my wrists ache,
my skin crusted with salt, slowly will yield, will suppleness.

I round the dough to rest in the deep glazed bowl,
wait for rising, baking, food for those who sit at my table.

Chryss Yost, Ph.D., is a Santa Barbara Poet Laureate (2013-15) and co-editor of Gunpowder Press. Her poems have been widely published in anthologies and journals, most recently in SALT. As a heart attack survivor, she raises awareness about Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD) and heart health. Also by this poet: "Senescence" and "Most Importantly, That"