In the bread-bin, by Mandy Macdonald

I found some hot cross buns,
almost three years past
their sell-by date.
Greying, solid, stodgy,
made to a recipe created
in 1940, or possibly earlier.

Their lightness is all gone,
their golden softness.
Yet they survive,
for they are vacuum-packed,
tightly insulated
from all outside influences.
I wonder whether
they packed themselves.

But put your ear, your nose
to the packet. Can you detect
a yeasty whisper, a leak of conspiracy,
an odour of pseudo-sanctity?
If i just pierce the clingfilm wrapping
– like this –
the sour-sweet efflatus hits you
like decades-old resentment.
In there, the winey, bog-brown fruit
is fermenting.

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