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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:

boulder

cobble

pebble

granule

sand

silt

clay

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

throwing

our crumbs

& ourselves

away.

Rocks creating pools

Three Crumblike Holes

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