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Tag Archives: bread

found poem: Hard work

found poem: poetry

found poem: statistics

the Dorothy years…

baked bread

Once we argued about baking bread.

My parents had come to visit me in Seattle. I was driving them around, Daddy tucked into the back seat of the VW with my friend Mary. We’re driving along Lake Washington coming back from Seward Park, when I hear my mother painting this bucolic picture of us baking bread together. She makes it sound like we’re the country elves, the fragrance of fresh-baked bread billowing out of the kitchen every weekend.

She asks me something and I say I only remember us baking bread a couple of times, which is true. Her little bread-baking booklet taken from the kitchen drawer, the big bowls brought up from under the counter. Even if my memory is faulty and it was five times, it was nothing like her story.

She is furious. She accuses me of always being against her, of being angry, which is also true, though I don’t know how to recognize it or admit it. Of always ruining her good time. I can feel my father’s frustration penned into the confines of the back seat. Mary disappears, silent witness.

I keep driving. Mother is enraged. I have dared to speak my own truth, to put my dirty footsteps on the beautiful painting she was creating to show my friend what a blissful childhood I had had thanks to her gracious and loving motherhood – for this is what it is about: my mother showing off for my friend.

She expects me to apologize – I always had to apologize. But I believe my own story, not hers. Their visit is ruined. They never visit me in Seattle again. I become one of the friends she crosses off her list. But she’s stuck with me, still expects me to come to her, to listen to her, to affirm her, to be her sponge.

In her need for exposure, she forgets my violations; in my need for a mother, I forgive hers.

Bread photo

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