Peli sat in her big wooden chair,
absorbed in a book, with nary a care
for the sounds that floated up from downstairs,
where her brother, Muse, was cooking with flare.
So skilled was he in the culinary arts,
that connoisseurs arrived from far-flung parts
to taste and praise his extraordinary creations
matched so skilfully to his brewed libations.
The reverie around Peli was gently peeled back
its encloaking diminished by the promise of a snack
cooked by a great as he practised his trade
who tested on her the delights he had made.
Today he was working a new kind of skill,
a crossing of art and flavour which filled
a sorrowful hole in every human breast,
the existence of which only few had guessed.
She leapt from her chair, placed the book to one side
and headed for the kitchen, where her family’s pride
removed from his oven what appeared to be bread
but with a colour of deep, pretty red.
With the loaf on a rack he stood back to admire
the result of his work with yeast and with fire.
She tore off some crust, just a corner to taste,
and was struck by the flavours that her mouth embraced.
Through her mind floated images, music and joy.
Memories and feelings and thoughts of boys.
Her mother, her father, her closest friends,
her dreams, her works, her whole life to the end.
“What is this?” she said. “It is more than just bread!”
She marvelled again at the dance in her head.
He replied, “Bread, yes, but with a greater rôle,
for my magnum opus can nourish your soul.”