Bread is a staple food. It is which our ancestors ground from the golden
spoils of labor, rooted in the soil and crushed into powdered grain, that which
rides like dust in the light and settles, snow-white, on a well-oiled board. Nourished
by the hearth and the flame, risen in a cast of iron, to a single, warm-centered roll.
Of the fire and the human heart, none knows them better.
And yet. Who checks the ashes for the black-burnt bottom, scraped sullen into the coals?
This, which had been cared for so gently by labored hands, worked
and kneaded and tucked to bed by a checkered cloth at twilight. Cherished, similar lullabies
once reached their ears, just as surely as the the notes did sparkle
in the center of the pan. All that, burnt away by the roaring flame.
All sacrificed to the open hellish plains, and dropped from the mind as easily as the fire
tears apart its meal. Choked on smoke and ashes, and run straight through
with a white-hot lance, searing as pure as a memory of a drifting cloud of dust, lazily
settling down to be smudged on tender arms. All burnt away, and now,
red is the color, then white, and black, of a story marred by pain.
Crusted at the bottom of the flame, and left to watch again with hollowed eyes.
Skeletons of ghosts from long ago lie dark and charred, littering the fields,
like a layer of demon-grass, powdered on the ground. Left to be blinded again
by a new rain of burning ashes, screaming away on a final fall. Burnt-out meteors,
each and every one, blazing a trail across the air, and left to stand forgotten.