By Ute Carson
The Woman carries loaves of steaming bread,
Her arms a basket woven around them.
Then she stops and lets her load tumble into a flung-out apron.
She looks at me and breaks off a chunk,
A gift of soft, grainy dough
With a crusty rim, brown like an earthen vessel.
I hesitate, having hungered all morning instead
For a slice of a pulpy orange
With its sweet juice coating my tongue
And its blossom-fragrance pleasing my nose.
The Woman has already turned
When I manage a belated thank-you.
Only the aroma of coal smoke and risen yeast
Still hangs in the space between us.
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