I walk into the bakery next door   
To my apartment. They are about   
To pull some sort of toast with cheese   
From the oven.   When I ask:   
What’s that smell? I am being   
A poet, I am asking   

What everyone else in the shop   
Wanted to ask, but somehow couldn’t;   
I am speaking on behalf of two other   
Customers who wanted to buy the   
Name of it.   I ask the woman   
Behind the counter for a percentage   
Of her sale. Am I flirting?   
Am I happy because the days   
Are longer?   Here’s what   

She does: She takes her time   
Choosing the slices.   “I am picking   
Out the good ones,” she tells me.   It’s   
April 14th. Spring, with five to ten   
Degrees to go.   Some days, I feel my duty;   
Some days, I love my work.

  • Poem copyright © 1997 by Cornelius Eady, from Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems (Putnam, 2008). Reprinted by permission of Cornelius Eady.

  • Source: 1997

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