Terentius Neo the Baker – a poem by Sue Watling

Terentius Neo the Baker
In the hour before dawn, 
he’s kneading dough, 
the colour of skin,
slapping flat the thick balloon,
before setting it down, 
to rise like a breath, 
the room smells of history, 
desert heat, 
and here they come: 
          tired of squabbling sons, 
          welcoming Abraham home, 
          planning a road trip back to Bethlehem,
Terentius Neo has no idea 
of the shadows he serves,
or how his bread will survive, 
carbonised medallion, 
branded with knuckle prints,
pulled from the guts of Vesuvius.

Sue Watling is a writer and poet living on the north bank of the River Humber in the UK where she has an allotment and keeps bees. You can follow Sue on Twitter @suewatling

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