November 5, 2015

A Poem By Andrew Hubbard: "Revelation"

Andrew Hubbard recently moved back to Indiana after ten years in Houston, Texas.  He has had five books published, including, most recently, his first book of poetry, "Things That Get You," which was produced by Interactive Press






In a remote Italian village
With haywire streets and shy cats
I saw in a baker’s window
A fresh, hard-crusted loaf

And creased into the surface
A double perpendicular dent:
The Cross, worked into fertile dough
By the baker, just as his father had done
And his father’s father, back perhaps to Roman times.

He doesn’t think much about it;
It’s just how you make bread.
“For luck,” he would probably say.

His grandfather in more pious times
Would have said,
“It wards off the devil
And reminds our people
To thank the Provider for their bread.”

I watch the storefront
As late morning nibbles shadows
From the narrow street
And the store attracts some custom.

An old woman in a kerchief
Buys the two baguettes beside my loaf.
Two pretty girls with black eyes
Buy sweet rolls with raisins.

To me, that simple Cross
Baked into living bread
Seems so much more potent
Than the brass and pewter crucifixes
I saw for sale at the village church.

I resolve to buy the bread
And when I do
A peremptory thought
Darts across my mind:

"You are not worthy."

It seems so ridiculous
To be intimidated
By a loaf of bread
That I will myself
To go in and buy it.

And then….you know?….
I couldn’t bring myself to eat it.

I carried it in my backpack
All day long, and gave it away
At dusk to a street beggar
Old, and none too clean.

It was much later I realized
The bread had been intended
For the beggar from the start.
The Cross had done its work.

~Andrew Hubbard


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