I had to disagree with Mary Oliver.
The Writing Room prompt by her was: “Joy is not meant to be a crumb.” But there is so much in a crumb so I had to to defend it.
And crumbs reminded me of the pictures of rocks and pebbles that John took when we visited Glacier National Park – and their power to shape the landscape despite their small size.
This poem in a slightly different version – yes, the editors helped me improve it – was published in Plum, the elegant on-line journal of Greenfield Community College.
Ode to the Crumb
The joy is in the crumb:
speck of cheese,
dot of bread,
slivered hint of once pie.
They stir up our hunger,
send a flare down
desire’s dark hole,
invite us to rise up again from here.
A crumb of bird humming
contends, hungry, with the bee.
Green-back glow and the long beak
sneaks into flowers with smooth insertion
until each is entered and emptied.
Crumble at my feet:
sediment raised from below crust;
its billon-year body shifted and smashed
in descending order:
A precise language for the making of crumbs
From the Old English cruma,
a word of obscure origin
traced back to the Latin
gruma, heap of earth.
And here language’s leavings
are larger than we’d dared imagine,
fill our pockets
with bits of earth and bread,
send us forward