Northridge Review, Vol. 6.2 (1988)

Patti Scheibel

"Eat your meat," they say.
It lies dead on my plate,
Gray on the outside,
Pink on the inside,
Marbled with strings of white fat.
"Eat your meat so you'll grow up to be big and strong."
It's moist,
That's the worst.
When you chew and chew it remains in a lump
Until finally you swallow it whole
Because you can't stand the feel of it in your mouth.
You can never eat enough.
There is always more
on the red strawberry platter in the center of the table.
"In this house no one goes hungry," they say.
You linger over your carrots and milk.
They at least seem friendly and bright
While on either side of you the adults
Gnaw at the bones,
Watching you,
Sharp eyed.
You are within their hands' reach
And they are huge from years of eating meat.

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