The Bread Maker

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

She had forgotten
how to make the bread,
how it had to feel
just right
before she laid it down
to rest.

She had forgotten
how to walk and talk

the old nurse came
to her at midnight
and pulled her
from her nightmare dream,
doing the work
of a true healer.

She had to relearn
the little things,
the simple things—
like how to make bread:

how to make the bread dough
feel like a baby’s skin
when it is ready
to rest and do its work—

like a baby feels
when you lay it down
to sleep
to do its work
of growing.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

8 responses to “The Bread Maker

  1. Oh this is lovely Ethel.

    Because my mum suffered with dementia, I often wonder where all that “remembering” went. It must be somewhere, all the artistic talent she had for painting, flower arranging, cake decorating, crochet etc etc. where do these things go? There is so much bygone talent somewhere.

    I particularly love the last stanza.

    Love Christine x


  2. Angela

    Lovely poem; it feels so very gentle, and is touching to read… then you get to the end and wonder why it touched you, so you go back to the beginning and read again – between the beautiful lines – and you read it differently and deeper.

  3. jeglatter

    This is so beautiful and true.

  4. All the images here reflect one another as if each was of an aspect of the others, and all aspects one thread in an ongoing plait.

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