A Small Meatloaf

              (for Mark Strand)

Half-baked on the flat sheet,
moist and raw within, bright red
at the core—like the chef, heat
radiating from his hands:
he dreads the work ahead.

Phone calls are mere devices
to insert asides, like so much garnish.
The voice on the other end says,
Remember the process and taste as you go. It’s bland.
Forget the recipe, this sheet, that plate. Focus on the dish.

Grant Hier is the author of a book of poetry, Untended Garden, due out in 2015. He is professor of English and chair of liberal arts and art history at the Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach.
*Photo courtesy of Joshua Bousel.
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