On Approaching Seventy
by Joan Seliger Sidney

Watching the hands of my son
kneading challah dough
on the maple cutting board
in my kitchen, a memory

rises of my mother
bending over our kitchen table
in Flatbush, pressing, stretching,
folding flour, water, eggs

into a living elastic.
Sometimes in my dreams, Mom
appears, whispers of her mother
in her kitchen in Zurawno

in the pre-dawn dark,
by the light of the kerosene
lamp, pulling and pushing
the yeasty challah dough

until my son covers it
with a clean white cloth
and leaves it in the warm
electric oven to rise.

On Approaching Seventy, by Joan Seliger Sidney
From her collection, Bereft and Blessed, Antrim House Books

baking breadBaking Bread
Aksel Waldemar Johannessen, 1920
oil on canvas