This is the literary weblog of Jeffrey W. Hull, M.D., a pediatrician. It is intended mainly as a place to maintain a collection of poetry created for the enjoyment of a few friends and as an archive for my family. All material is protected by US copyright.

Jeffrey Hull

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Baker

This poem is another response piece to a vignette at Richard Lawrence Cohen's site.

It grew and developed from the original inspiration into its own little story.

The Baker

His fingers knead the lump of dough;
He wasn't born a baker, though
His early dreams were filled with smells
Of yeasty rolls and pastry shells.
He never knew exactly why
These dreams recurred, but by and by
For reasons that he could not tell
They crept in daytime thoughts as well.

Mechanic, cook, and last, a clerk
A dull parade of dead-end work;
A listless life, mind half employed
With youthful hopes almost destroyed.
Another day, another what?
He rolled along in life's deep rut
And down the hill of circumstance
Toward death, and never took a chance.

But then one day he passed a store
With vacant windows, dusty floor,
A local phone on home-made sign—
And knew at once, "This place is mine."
He called the owner, signed the lease
And brought forth mop and elbow grease
And dreaming of his sticky buns
He called the bank and borrowed funds.

He pictured tables, checkered cloth,
And steaming coffee, latte froth;
Outside, beneath the awning shade
Girls spreading buns with marmalade,
The shapely curves of iron chair
And giggling laughs on springtime air
With friendly visits now and then
By sober older businessmen.

"Success" for him may never come
The way it is defined by some;
But when he opens up his store
Each morning, and he sweeps the floor,
And kneads the bread, and bakes the rolls
And punches out the doughnut holes—
He practices an honest art
And greets the day with quiet heart.

© 2004 Jeffrey Hull


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