The slightest pressure downwards
Of the index finger stretched
Along the top side of the blade.
The slightest movement of the hand:
Forwards, backwards and it falls, cleanly.
No time for bowing skills.
No time for sight in the mind's eye
Of my mother's capable arms,
Strong hands, wide-ended thumb,
Gripping, cutting finely
The stoneground, wholemeal, homemade,
Hard-as-brick, brown, crusty loaf.
No time to recall the clean, firm sweep
Of the butter knife scraping the primrose surface
In the 'right way', whose tiny serrations
Left cat-tongue corrugations,
So that one was only ever sure that is not what they were
By the purposefulness of their horizontal direction.
No time to think of the bow saw
And the saw horse, the wheelbarrow
Full of picked up wood, and the lessons
In preserving strength, by using the whole length
Of the blade, letting it do the work.
Just, Hey Presto! a slab of soft,
Thickly buttered poppyseed filled
Machine baked, honey daubed,
Instant gratification of greed.