The Quarrel

By George Sterling

This is my bread.
I cried once in the making,
And laughed twice in the baking,
For something my man said.
When he comes at noon he will eat,
Say little, unless of his wheat;
Then trudge away
In the half-ended day.

This is my bread,
Brown as the heart of cedar-wood,
New-split, and smelling twice as good.
My man has said
'Tis white inside as a pear peeled.
I can hear him at the plow,
Away in the north field.
(The reins are slack,
The furrow's made again.)
He's singing now….
He and the fly in the pane
Are making a mighty row!
He'll be quiet enough when he's back:
The grey cat under the stove
Will be noisy, matched with him,
As a jay on the lowest limb
Of the maple grove .

This is my bread.
He will hold it warm in his hand,
As he holds me in our bed….
I wish he had never said
What he did.
Such words will stand….
But better said than hid;
And he didn't know all my side:
That's what I get for pride,
Who am too lately bride!
It's warm for March,
And the snow long rid….
He needn't sing so loud-
And there goes the bird in the larch,
Glad for the passing of a cloud.
Both males a-singing, and proud of the
            sound!
I'll wager the robin's found
A better excuse for the song….
Ah. Well, he'll be passing soon
By the milking-shed,
Though the time seems long….
Heigh ho! I wish it was noon,
Fat loaves of bread!

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