Salvation of Bread


Every time sorrow

is a rock to the skull


I chant up a stove

it’s belly all fire bloom 


as I beg any ancestor

Tell me how it’s done.


Listen, they say,

kick fear into air with rye meal


deny loss as you feed wild yeast,

accept tears with more salt, more water


mix into slurry, into dough

into dark disc bread.


To break open,

to taste sun, 


the center hole through which  

one can finally see blue sky. 


Art by Barbara Evan



Salvation of Bread by Diane Jarvenpa won first place in Saint Paul Almanac’s Break Through Writing Contest in the category of poetry.

Diane Jarvenpa is the author of The Way She Told her Story, The Tender Wild Things, Divining the Landscape, swift, bright, drift and Ancient Wonders, The Modern World. She has received The Midwest Independent Publishers Association Award and an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She is a teaching artist with the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project MN.  She is also a singer-songwriter performing under the name Diane Jarvi.

Art By:

Barbara Evan is a Saint Paul artist with a BA in Fine Art from the University of Minnesota and a BA in English from the University of South Dakota. She specializes in painting and drawing.

Posted in: Poetry