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Diana Festa

The Urge to Dream

Pure gold, a wheat field scattered
with poppies,
a million sprigs the breeze plied
to hear their song sotto voce,

the story of bread –
large loaves came to light
from the cavernous oven
in my grandmother’s kitchen.

We hid a young man there,
built a wall of cut wood around him
before closing the door –
to hide him from the Germans.

Such an adventure, we children thought,
and we took turn slipping bread,
half moons cut across the loaves, sprinkled
with olive oil and salt.

Bread was the poetic vision of hunger
in the shape of desire,
memory of wheat fields –
where farmers watched with shotguns.

I begged for a few sprays one day,
and put then in the blue bottle by the window,
sunny sight in gray days of war.