Like much that matters, baking bread is easy
Enough, with good ingredients, a simple recipe:
To water, sweetener, salt and yeast
Add flour, and mix. Oh, yes, there’s Mystery,
But who demands to understand
When the dough is answering the hand
Under a morning window facing east?
Do they teach this at the University?
Cover the dough—left in the dark alone
It knows to take the next step on its own.
And when it’s risen with the sun
Towards noon an hour or two, punch it back down,
Shape it into loaves, and wait
Again while it again grows great—
But not too great: just peers above the pan.
Then, as the good book says, “Bake until done.”
The Zen of loafing? Eat a metaphor?
Now’s the time to try if bread is more
Than bread alone. Taste. Devour.
Firmly yielding? Moist and crunchy? Or
Evidence scattered on the plate
Of a loaf the knife disintegrates?
You’ve made it, anyhow. The day is yours—
Yours and the sun’s, now at its tallest hour.
“Graduation Speech” by Charles W. Pratt