The Innisfree Poetry Journal
by Jean Nordhaus
BREAD OF HEAVEN
Therese Grob, Schubert's first love, treasured the songs he gave her
but prudently married a prosperous baker.
Time/Life: Schubert and his Music
O, the buns, the buns, his fragrant loaves and Leckerli,
strudels and Lebkuchen, little frosted sugar cakes
set out on the banquette like babies in a row.
And when he came to me, flushed from the heat
of his ovens, smelling of yeast and chocolate,
white as a miller with flour on his shoes,
when he wooed me with marzipan
and braided crullers, odors issuing
from his shop in waves of rapture, who
could resist? O, comfort me with Linzertorte.
I've had an easy life, bread and meat on the table
a roof above my head, a kind man who loves me . . .
but, O, I've grown fat, fat, and sometimes
when scents of morning brötchen
penetrate my sleep like tremolos of lost love,
I think of that earnest, bespectacled cherub,
his head haloed with unruly curls—
nothing inside but harmonies and dotted half-notes—
how truly I sang for him
like the little bird that whistles sweet, sweet, sweet
outside my window.
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