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bread – dverse

December 16, 2014

I broke bread in Paris
Not spring, but in the fall
Where we napped in the Tuleries
Near the organ grinder
And his monkey with the cup.

I sat back in Cleveland
Bemused as in your high-chair
You broke bread, smearing PBJ
Into your curly hair savoring
With all the senses

When there were two,
Tottering, wobbling about
Delighting in your cheerios snack
Pretending to be puppies on the floor
I knew

That I hoped you’d see spring
In the City of Light with me
So it would be painted within you
In the company of one
Who would forever love you.

PBJ – ( peanut butter and jelly – an American staple )

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From → dverse, poetry

52 Comments
  1. the memories of places
    like the memories of our children
    are the binds that hold
    our lives and wishes

    peanut butter and jelly
    like crusted bread
    are made, at times, to meld,
    to be tasted or wiped from tender cheeks

    but Paris
    can be bittersweet
    or as lovely as the Louvre, as
    exhilarating as the Tour de France,

    all made to meld together, and
    tasted, or wiped from a tender cheek.

    I love my kids as I know you do yours, Bill.
    I have written this to join you in your piece about love.
    i offer it as a salute to your feelings and your writing.
    Fondly, Randy

  2. Crusty bread ,cheese and wine, pauper poets fare !

  3. Having read the conversation about cheese, I now want to try PB with it…always has been PB&J or pickles or onion in our family. Mostly, I am quite taken with your first stanza…it is absolutely so inviting and swept me in right away…breathtaking to me.

  4. Ah that’s a wonderful piece – bread being the center of the story smiles, who wouldn’t love to break a bread in Paris 🙂

  5. Oh your poem makes me yearn to visit Paris that much more. And makes me hungry for the smell of freshly baked bread… A touching poem…

    • for the father of daughters, the thought of Paris being the memory of a broken heart is more than one can bear 🙂

      I hope your travels fill your heart.

  6. you created a great atmosphere, Bill! I love me some PBJ, especially with cheese and bacon… I had to make it fat… lol

  7. My older son loves PBJ – while my younger can’t stand it, he’s a real Frenchman, wants it with cheese. Very evocative – and it made me smile!

  8. What a lovely poem! I would love to break my bread in Paris one day, still a long time for that. With tons of cheese 🙂

  9. I can see that curly headed child savoring the PBandJ!! I can feel the love in these lines.

  10. It would be nice to break bread in Paris with a glass of french wine..

    • Yes, it’s a fine thing. A croissant in the morning and a baguette in the evening.

  11. Best PBJ …. ever! 😎

  12. Brilliant poem. I can feel the love and the atmosphere.

  13. Love those last three lines!

    • Thanks – I think the thought of Paris as a bittersweet memory is not so good – especially for ones children

  14. Goodness, all this bread talk and cheese makes me hungry as I haven’t had my dinner yet ~

    Love the company of family – it makes the city and food special ~

  15. loved the PBJ… and the setting so real

  16. Some breads and cheese are so wonderful they can be a meal by themselves. You made me hungry for fresh tradition baguette, Bill.

  17. Ah, Bill, I do think breaking bread in Paris is wonderful. And the cheeses definitely rival those of Wisconsin. And peanut butter and jelly on bread — a childhood staple for me! There definitely is something about the ‘bread.’

  18. Glenn Buttkus permalink

    Traveling across country years ago, we lingered in Wisconsin long enough to learn about, & to love cheese curds; but that’s a poem for another time (which includes going to the Spam museum). My visits to Paris have all been cinematic, ala Gene Kelly, Woody Allen, Jacques Tati, but love to travel there on a poetic carpet of your words; real immediacy; but what shines in this piece is how important bread memories can be/are to family; very nice job.

    • Thanks Glenn – cheese curds are a wonder. I long to go the the spam museum, but haven’t worked up the mustard 🙂

      Bread so embodies mankind – it seems so ingrained into the language that perhaps bread and language arose together.

  19. Bread yes those keen memories of bread.. San Francisco.. Paris … and yes there are wonderful places… where bread and love goes together..

    • what we share at the table always tastes better, and what we share from the heart endures.

  20. cute…loved the image of the one smearing pbj in the hair…ha…a mess, but cute for sure…and love the love that this exudes….would love to break bread in paris sometime…Cleveland, def cold this time of year…last time I was there my beard froze….

  21. A profound tribute to family. Those were my exact thoughts as I sat across the table from my son when we had breakfast in Paris. We must create wonderful memories for our children which will sustain them as they move forward in their time line. Thank you!!!!!

  22. Bill, one of my best memories of living in France (3 years) was the bread and cheese–also the freshly churned butter (but that’s another story). I love the idea of blending the memory of place and the knowledge that one is loved.

    • Yes – salted butter from Normandy ( they must be happy cows to produce such wonder. )

      I think that some places, Washing DC in the Cherry blossom time, Paris in the spring – San Francisco on a sunny day – almost require love.

  23. Shannon permalink

    Oh Dad, I love this one!

  24. smiles… i love peanut butter…but with cheese instead of jelly…not in my hair though…smiles
    paris seems just the perfect city to break bread…. it is kinda a magical combo, isn’t it… love and bread and paris…

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