The Bread Run: When I Delivered Loaves of Bread for Pennies for Bread

The loaves are already “stacked to the back” of our Ford delivery truck in the morning before we leave. The bread was baked the day before by a handful of Benedictines and sliced and bagged by volunteers, mostly retired men, that same afternoon. All the bread, about 900 loaves, is placed in trays for easy delivery.  We have about twelve different stops to make in the city, and we want to finish the route before the southern sun becomes unbearable.
     We leave the Abbey early to beat the commuters; I notice it takes a few swipes of the windshield wiper to get rid of the moisture and insects that have collected through the night.  Even with a full cup of coffee in my system, I usually fall asleep on the passenger side as Joe crosses the long causeway over Lake Pontchartrain into New Orleans, listening to AM radio.  In the brief moments that I am awake, Joe, in his own words, gives a commentary on world and local events, and I look out into the lake to see what it looks like this time: either calm and muddy or sometimes the lake is brilliantly blue, like an ocean, but this morning it is dull with an irksome pallor of gray.


Poem: "Ordinary Childhood"

Fontana della Barcaccia - Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy
Fontana della Barcaccia - Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy
brushing past the crêpe myrtles,
their slim, shedding bark legs entangled
on the shadowed front yard of this house,

i see rebecca and her children
hidden in the silence
of their pacific northwest camper trailer,
parked against a red brick wall of a church

my grapes of wrath family laugh and play checkers,
swatting mosquitoes
hoping for a better licorice stick,
praying to god for a sturdy black mailbox.

And even at stan’s funeral the other day
mom and dad with their stoic, but engaged stares
singing remember me when you come into your kingdom
as if they had been with us all along,
comfortable pictures,
firmly embraced on roger’s shoulder,
his ordinary childhood shaped and formed,
sifting sand and dirt through his green hands,
shoveled onto the pine box we have chosen to gather around, singing our songs of christian burial,
quickly rubbing our eyes from the bright daylight −
too much light and not enough darkness

too much information and not enough silence

we all dispersed quietly,
but the children who had lingered,
fascinated by a dead body they once knew,
wishing to sprinkle their own earth over him,
instead ate sandwiches and sprite later on at supper,
their collection of forks and knives piled up in the newly acquired yard of louisiana,
remained silent and grinned,
helping themselves to a bag of chips, tater tots,
© 2005 Greig Roselli