Virgo, of Stars and Bread

by Sandra J. Lindow

From birth we are like bread.
                The cold fact is that
                                Stars appear to twinkle
                people die
the yeast on which we rise,
                                temperature variations
                too soon or too late
                                create turbulence
heat activated
                                in earth's atmosphere
we eat and are eaten --
carbon-chained flesh,
the sugar consumed
                with loose threads and fragments
experience, the salt that holds the leaven,
                                changes the refractive index
                life's agenda uncompleted
by milk's sweet innocence uplifted,
firing and fading like stars,
we lighten the Milky Way.

Copyright © 2003, Sandra J. Lindow
Virgo, the Harvest Maiden

Virgo, the Harvest Maiden
by Johann Bayer

* An exquisite corpse is a poetic form that combines lines from several sources. The above combines Dr. Edwin Shneidman's Voices of Death and Science News (2/25/89) with a connecting bridge.

Sandra Lindow, officially approaching her 54th birthday, takes the responsibilities of apprentice cronehood seriously. Her poetry can be seen in Asimov's, Say... What Time Is It?, The Wisconsin Poets' Calendar, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry and on line at Strange Horizons, Raven Electrick, and Fables. For the last 21 years she has worked as a reading specialist in a treatment center for emotionally disturbed children and adolescents. She lives in Eau Claire Wisconsin with her husband Michael, their daughter Miriam, and their cat, Maisie Cantata Levy. This is one of many poems she has written about bread baking. If you are nice to her she will bake a loaf for you on your birthday.

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Image courtesy of the U.S. Naval Observatory Library