Sliced bread (sic)
a centimeter thick
staling on forty surfaces
fit for soggy sandwiches
real bread excels all this

high top, Vienna, cob
baguettes three times daily
breads poignant as a sob
Jewish rye and German
brothers from the hob

Tall grass waving gluten
foreshadowed cultivation
its unbloody skin-oil scent
displaced the hunting tent
for prayer and work in season”

Rice eaters do not yet disdain
all meals centering on one grain
but potatoes came, and pasta
and boi meat from old Masta
and bread put butter on the heart

the idle svelte would dine apart
once designer chefs had risen
bread turns to landfill on the shelf
or, like salt, gets smuggled in
to sit below itself.

Articles by Les Murray

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