Corned Beef and Cabbage

By George Bilgere b. 1951 George Bilgere
I can see her in the kitchen,   
Cooking up, for the hundredth time,   
A little something from her   
Limited Midwestern repertoire.   
Cigarette going in the ashtray,   
The red wine pulsing in its glass,   
A warning light meaning   
Everything was simmering   
Just below the steel lid   
Of her smile, as she boiled   
The beef into submission,   
Chopped her way   
Through the vegetable kingdom   
With the broken-handled knife   
I use tonight, feeling her   
Anger rising from the dark   
Chambers of the head   
Of cabbage I slice through,   
Missing her, wanting   
To chew things over   
With my mother again.

Poem copyright ©2002 by George Bilgere, whose most recent book of poetry is “Haywire,” Utah State University Press, 2006. Poem reprinted from “The Good Kiss,” published by The University of Akron Press, 2002, by permission of the author and publisher.

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Poet George Bilgere b. 1951

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Parenthood, Midlife, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Home Life, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Indoor Activities

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 George  Bilgere

Biography

George Bilgere has published five collections of poetry, most recently The White Museum which was awarded the 2009 Autumn House Poetry Prize. His third book, The Good Kiss (2002), was selected by Billy Collins to win the University of Akron Poetry Award. He has won numerous awards, including the Midland Authors Award, the May Swenson Poetry Award for his collection Haywire (2006), and a Pushcart Prize. Bilgere has received . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, Midlife, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Home Life, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Indoor Activities

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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