My confessional post about my white bread purchase yesterday stirred some emotions about white verses whole wheat bread, and so I thought I’d continue the conversation by posting a poem my mom wrote about my grandfather (her step-father) and the bread he served with dinner every night.
The Bread and Butter Gap
by Leana McClellan
“It’s good food,”
my stepfather says earnestly.
I have refused his third offer of bread and butter with dinner.
He holds his meaty hand up like a stop sign
indicating his final retreat,
Every visit for 25 years he has tried to ply me with bread and butter.
His bread is cottony white,
two loaves for a dollar.
His butter is on-sale, neon yellow margarine.
To me this combination signals instant heart failure.
86 years back, he was trained to fill up the empty space
left from sparse meals shared among 6 siblings,
with slabs of home sliced bread and butter,
touted to make you grow big and strong,
a pillowy cushion against hard times.
Now in his plentiful old age,
bread and butter is a comfort,
soft and smooth, a sensual memory booster,
still practical as a food pusher and plate polisher,
the substance of his blood and cells,
an impotent buffer against the passing of his time.