Bread by R. S. Thomas

Hunger was lonliness, betrayed

By the pitiless candour of the stars’

Talk, in an old byre he prayed

Not for food; to pray was to know

Waking from a dark dream to find

The white loaf on the white snow;

Not for warmth, warmth brought the rain’s

Blurring of the essential point

Of ice probing his raw pain.

He prayed for love, love that would share

His rags’ secret; rising he broke

Like sun crumbling the gold air

The live bread for the starved folk.

by R. S. Thomas

from Poetry For Supper (1958)