We never saw the ships at night when we stood
on the shore awaiting them, the return of
all the men we loved, all the men we didn’t
love anymore, but
felt we owed something, a feigned concern at least,
in exchange for promises made before the
voyage that was more important than what we
felt or hoped or dreamed.
The sun came up, and we went back to our homes,
the sailors still unaccounted for, the ships
quite probably lost with all aboard. We have
learned, in these eight months,
other occupations than entertaining
gentlemen who then must go, heeding some call
greater than our own, with barely a goodbye.
I am a baker
now; I must tend to my bread, the dough that yields
under my hands, is transformed by my caress.
Bread becomes me as I eat, it never leaves
by death or by sea.