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June Crane

Home-made Bread


Threshed, ground, bagged, its parts wait

nurture yeast into slow bubbles, creamy promise

strong, honest flour meets, envelops, pauses

ready to concede, to swell, stretch and smooth


ease proud bounty onto the board, watch

my mother’s hands push and pull, quiet rhythm

flour, flirt, shape, dimple the friendly dough

nestle it snug in burgeoning transformation


fierce heat flourishes broad, high, firm

tests, teases, knows when best to release

grows colour, whispers cues

crusty taps sound the chemistry


soak up dark gravy, smear with red jam

dunk in hot milk, sprinkle with brown sugar

pile with steaming beans

smear with guacamole, toast under runny eggs


bread to feed the five thousand, replace French cake

to punish served with water, not to have and also eat

that by which man cannot live alone

the staff of life, the life of the stuff


June Crane lives in Auckland, near to bush, harbour and family – and that suits her just fine. She walks and takes the ferry, so near to what the big city offers, yet so far. She is a reader, a baker, a talker, a reluctant gardener and, by profession, a mediator. She recently left full-time employment and suddenly a whole new world opened up – one she is yet to work out, but in which she wants to do more writing.


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