Sunday, August 07, 2011


by Marguerite Stewart

When I went to the door, at the whisper of knocking,
I saw Simeon Gantner's daughter, Kathleen, standing
There, in her shawl and her shame, sent to ask
"Forgiveness Flour" for her bread. "Forgiveness Flour,"
We call it in our corner. If one has erred, one
Is sent to ask for flour of his neighbors. If they loan it
To him, that means he can stay, but if they refuse, he had
Best take himself off. I looked at Kathleen . . .
What a jewel of a daughter, though not much like her
Father, more's the pity. "I'll give you flour," I
Said, and went to measure it. Measuring was the rub.
If I gave too much, neighbors would think I made sin
Easy, but if I gave too little, they would label me
"Close." While I stood measuring, Joel, my husband,
Came in from the mill, a great bag of flour on his
Shoulder, and seeing her there, shrinking in the
Doorway, he tossed the bag at her feet. "Here, take
All of it." And so she had flour for many loaves,
While I stood measuring.

And *this,* too.
The older I get the more I depend on the blessing and power of forgiveness in my life.  When I went to the Springville Art Museum while in Utah this past 11 days, I saw this statue and immediately thought of the the poem Forgiveness Flour (above).  In tracking down information about the poem, I came upon a speech on forgiveness given at BYU, a powerful address that I plan to print out and place in my scriptures.  It's the link just below the poem.


Judy said...

That is the perfect image to go with this beautiful poem.

Donna Smith said...

I liked the speech given on forgiveness. In the poem I really liked the line about "measuring flour" when the husband just threw the whole sack at her feet. A good reminder.