By Kyle Doesken
This isn’t a story of heroes or fairies,
the kind that you’d find on the shelves in libraries.
You’ve heard those before, so I’ll tell you instead
of a story neglected: the heel of the bread.
Our story begins with an average loaf,
purchased by some unremarkable oaf.
An average loaf of whole grain wheat
for an average guy wanting something to eat.
This may sound bizarre, but it’s perfectly true,
that slices of bread are like people like you.
They share but one goal. They have but one dream.
They want to be eaten, as strange as that seems.
They’d find that they’d met with a wonderful fate
If they’re grabbed from the bread bag and put on a plate.
Such is the story of Breadmond the heel,
who was very excited to be someone’s meal.
The smallest of slices, the obvious runt,
was ready to go, and he waited in front.
The twist came undone and the bag was soon open.
The slices inside started wishin’ and hopin’.
“It’s gonna be me.” Breadmond started to say,
but the Hands pushed him downward and out of the way.
Slice 2 was taken and so was slice 3,
Leaving Breadmond to wonder, “What happened to me?”
He thought to himself, “They must be mistaken.
They mustn’t have seen me. I should have been taken.
They’ll come back for me. I just don’t know when.”
Then another Hand entered and did it again.
“Why do they pass me? Why are they so hasty?
Do they not think that I can be equally tasty?
I’m perfect with turkey, I’m perfect with ham.
I wouldn’t complain about butter or jam.
Why can’t they see me for the nice guy I am?”
“The problem,” they said, “is that you are half crust,
and that’s why you’ll always get left in the dust.”
“That’s how I was raised.” He said. “This is unjust.
There must be someone who will take me. There must.”
“Maybe someone will enjoy me with cheese.
Why must they all act like I have some disease?
I wish they would see that I’m not a bad fella.
I wouldn’t mind Swiss, and I like Mozzarella.
I’m better with Cheddar, perhaps Colby Jack,
And I’ve waited so long, at the front of the sack,
for someone to reach in and take me away,
So give me a chance, world. What do you say?”
In reached a Hand, to Breadmond’s surprise.
He formed his best smile, and he widened his eyes.
His heart skipped a beat! Maybe this one would find him!
But it sank as the Hand grabbed two slices behind him.
As it would seem, time wounds all heels.
Just think of the sadness that poor Breadmond feels.
As slices are gone and the bread bag gets thinner,
he knows that he’ll never be taken to dinner.
The Hands kept on coming, some slow, and some fast,
but Breadmond gave up. He would always get passed.
How many were left? Was it three? Was it four?
“Forget it.” he said. “I don’t care anymore.”
Soon the middle was gone, as you might have guessed.
But he didn’t notice. He couldn’t care less.
The others were right. He was destined to fail.
He was no longer sad, for his heart had grown stale.
So he sat, apathetic, as still as a stone.
Waiting for nothing. But he wasn’t alone.
“Excuse me,” a gentle voice spoke from behind,
“But am I getting close to the front of the line?
It seems like it’s moving at quite a slow pace.”
But Breadmond was still staring off into space.
“Hello?” she called out, making sure he could hear.
“Are you listening, sir? Am I coming in clear?”
He awoke from his trance. “Who might you be?” he said.
“My name,” she replied, “is Martina McBread.”
“Breadmond is mine.” he said, courteously.
“I’m sorry. Did you have a question for me?”
“I asked if the front was much farther ahead.”
“You’re already here, Miss Martina McBread.”
“Does that mean we’re a match? I don’t know about you,
But I’ve noticed that often the Hands will take two.”
“This may be the case,” Breadmond sighed, “but you’ll see,
that no one will ever be paired up with me.”
“I have to admit, I’m a little perplexed.
In theory, we both should be chosen. We’re next.”
“You don’t understand it!” He started to shout.
“I’ll be stuck here forever! I’ll never get out!
From the very beginning, while I remained here,
I watched piece after piece after piece disappear!
I never got picked, even though I was first,
Because everyone thinks I’m the absolute worst,
And this is a fact that I cannot deny!”
Then he fell to the floor and he started to cry.
“But Breadmond, you have every reason to boast.
Why, I think that you could be the toast with most.
And I must keep believing that you will go too.
Cause if you don’t get picked, I won’t know what to do.
I’d be lost, for you see, I’m an end-piece like you.”
Within a few moments, his tears had all dried,
and Breadmond began to feel toasty inside.
He no longer thought about snack times or meals.
For it seemed he had fallen, head over heels.
“We’ve only just met, but you make me complete,
And between you and me we could make ends meet.
And so I must ask, Miss Martina McBread,
How would you like to be happily wed?
I know that it’s probably not what you planned,
but I’d give you my heart if you gave me your… hand…”
Before he had finished, one final Hand came,
And it flew to the two like a moth to a flame.
It seems that at last it was time to be claimed.
There was nobody else. They were all that remained.
The tension was building. They hardly could stand it.
But then the Hand left, and it left empty-handed.
The two of them couldn’t know what was in store,
Because then something happened that hadn’t before.
It lifted the bag, and then in a flash,
it let go and dropped it, straight into the trash.
They’d never be chosen. They’d given up hope.
The best they could do was to learn how to cope.
The two of them knew they would be there forever,
So they both settled down, and they grew mold together.