by Claudia Mills

He’s baked the same bread for fifty years.
“The staff of life,” he calls it,
stuffed full as it is of oat bran,
wheat germ, sunflower seeds,
sweetened with a touch of molasses.

The cardiologist ordered a test
to analyze proteins in his blood
that predict future outcomes.
“23 percent chance of a major cardiac
episode in four years,” his results read.

It could be worse.
Everything could always be worse
until the moment when nothing could be.

But still, I inhale a long, deep breath
of the golden-brown fragrance
of those baking loaves

and let it out
as slowly
as I can.

Image by Vugar Ahmadov via Pixabay