Literature Poetry Shelley Marie Motz

She Who Kneads the Dough to Lightness

Shelley Marie Motz


I have been dreaming of bread.
Warm and round.

Dreaming of braided bread
Sweetened with honey.
My Greek neighbour Maria’s kitchen
Steaming with daughters and laughter.

I prepare the dough:
Water. Salt. Yeast.
One bowl. Two hands.

I pour and crack.
Mix and knead.
Turn my desire onto a lightly floured surface
And punch. And press. And smell. And knead.

I have been told the original meaning of lady is:
She Who Kneads the Dough to Lightness.
Tonight I’ll be your lady.
Shape you with my hands.

Now, I bring you a bowl. A basket of bread.
Balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Focaccia. Rosemary. Thyme.
Do not resist.

Let me be your lady.
Take you with my hands.
Knead you.
Bring you again to lightness.

Bring you again to lightness.
Bring you again and again to lightness.
Within full view of the moon.


Shelley Marie Motz headshot

Photo by L.J. Long.

Shelley Marie Motz writes in multiple genres and for readers of all ages. She was awarded the 2015 CANSCAIP Writing for Children prize for best picture book. Her work has recently been published or is forthcoming in The Timberline Review, The Fem, and the Shabda Press anthology Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in Our Hands.