Pick-a-Poem: “Daily Bread”


Welcome, dear blog readers, to another weekly Pick-a-Poem post. Each Wednesday, we feature a new poem for you to read and discover. Hopefully you’ll find a new poet, or at least one new poem, that might be your favorite. All of these poems come from Poetry Daily, which is a great site that features a new poem every day. Today we’re featuring Daily Bread by Jane Clarke.

According to her bio page, Jane Clarke has had her poetry published in The Irish Times and The Irish Independent, as well as various journals, magazines, anthologies, and websites. She holds a BA in English and Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin and an MPhil in Writing from the University of South Wales.

Daily Bread by Jane Clarke

A white mist rises as she sifts a pound of flour
into the worn, tin basin, wide as Lough Corrib.

Blue veins lie like rivers on the map of her hands.
She measures one teaspoon of bread soda,

two teaspoons of salt. The plait at the nape
of her neck: a fisherman’s rope coiled at the quay.

She scoops a hollow, pours a pint of buttermilk,
splashing and spluttering into the well.

With the rhythm of a rower she kneads rough dough
on the flour-dusted table, pushing it away,

pulling it back, pushing it away again.
With her wrist she flicks a lock, silver-grey frost

in December, from her high cheek bones. Readying
the bread for its hot harbour, she cuts a deep cross.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s featured poem. For more posts like this one, click here.

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

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