We work at the bakery that makes roles.
Precious roles, roles fist-sized and just fluffy
enough to cushion our customers from
the meaningless nothing of everything.
Roles you can make slits in with a butter knife
and fill with butter, or jam, or peanut butter.
Love and hate. Peace and war. Anything.
About as certain as bread on the dinner table.
They entered through the door and left,
ringing the bell, for roles had become routine.
They couldn’t live without them.
Couldn’t get to work without one in their hand.
We worked at the bakery that makes roles
until the day people remembered
that roles are made, not given or born.
And they stormed the bakery.
There were custard trails dotted with flour,
and globs of jam spotting the streets – I saw
a young child squatting there, making a role,
somehow the white dough shimmered in the sun.
They made a chunky smooth buttered role.
A whipped-cream filled – a compote-condensed –
a chocolate fudge stuffed role, under the light
I could not see which, but it was wisp-like.
It glowed, and it meant something, to the child,
anyhow, their cheeks glowing with moondust,
as their small voice hummed a wandering tune –
high and low, fast and slow, stronger now, and stronger.