Richard M. Rocco
In todays Business Section
Sandra Blakeslee reports on rendering,
that industrial art of recycling
scrap meat into useful products of commerce.
The last bite of pot roast
left on a china plate in the Chop House Restaurant
or the unused parts from Bellinis Butcher Shop,
hooves, heads, spinal cords, feathers and bones.
Four hundred thousand pounds
of euthanized cats and dogs, she writes,
from the animal shelters of LA alone.
Tons of road kill brought in by the men
in iridescent orange vests
who keep our highways clean
with their flat wide shovels.
Whole bodies, bits and pieces,
minced and ground then steam cooked
into a mash. The fat off the top
taken for soap and candles,
the lower gelatinous layer
reserved for pharmaceuticals, fertilizer
and gummy bears.
Which takes me back
to my favorite green ones.
Their gentle paws tucked into the cusp
of a back molar while my brother
and I bang into each other
in the back seat of our father's white Buick,
fighting over nothing,
tearing at the gristle in our mouths,
choking on the raspberry and cherry flavors
that bleed into the back of our throats.
Copyright 2000, Richard M. Rocco
Richard M. Rocco lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and works in medical
research at a biotechnology company. He has published
many poems in lit mags but this is the first time on the web.
Switched-on Gutenberg/Vol. 4, No. 2