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 Forgiveness Flour

 
              When I went to the door, at the whisper of knocking,
               I saw Simeon Ganter'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.
                                                     Marguerite Stewart