Little Meat Suite

My husband and I dropped in at 820 Shirley Ave. in Norfolk, VA on the opening day of Norfolk Pendulum (grocer and purveyor of “fine and ethically sourced meats”), owned in part by our former neighbors Amy Price and Eric Neff. I’d run into Amy a few weeks back at a local cafe, and she’d casually asked me then if I would perhaps like to write “a few short, fun poems about meat” for their use in the store and their website, and of course I said oink oink yes! Then my family had the flu, we had those snow days, and then some…

But yesterday at their opening, I remembered my promise, and told Amy I’d happily work on the first one on the spot, right there at the counter— so she ran to get some butcher paper, and I wrote “Little Ode to Bacon” below, for which Amy posthaste christened me their “meat poet.” (No Francis Bacon jokes please; though Dave has already inquired if this means that I am now the poet laureate of their meats section. BTW Dave, the entire store is devoted to organically sourced and grass-fed meats.) Little Ode to Bacon

I’m following up on the rest of my promise to Amy and Norfolk Pendulum, so here are two more meat poems that I thought I’d share with you. If there are any vegan readers, I apologize beforehand; no intention to offend anyone.    





It comes down
to this—close to the bone,
after the simmer and pitch:
the pith of what we are
underwrites the broth.

Little Ode to Sausages

We pick the herbs
that sing of summertime

and tuck them in
these garlands:

garlic and thyme, flecked
oregano; then all the minced

bits yoked together with just
a trace of cracked black pepper,

warm fragrance of sage
that comes again some chilled

evening when we gather
at the table, clink glasses,

slice wheels of them and talk
about our days in the sun.

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Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What Is Left of Wings, I Ask (forthcoming, 2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.


  1. These are great! Can’t wait to see them on their website. I love unofficial public poetry projects.

    (Do they sell scrapple? If so, they’re welcome to use my ode.)


  2. Love these poems, and the off-beat and charming acclaim you’ve been accorded.


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