He tells me he’s a parolee looking for a good
woman but he’s been bad so bad trapped
in a sheet of ice wrapping the meat in
paper shudders I shouldn’t be eating red
meat with my hypertension and high cholesterol
the steaming calf
He says he’s been out six months but still
it’s hard you know how it is the wrong people
their bright ideas attempts to rise his bloody
apron a recipe buckles and
gives me an extra pound

Copyright © 2024 by JoAnne McFarland. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 6, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.