Home > Poetry > In Praise of The Butcher

In Praise of The Butcher

I watch them,


every time I go to the market,

like doctors in their long white coats.

I never dreamed of being a doctor,

but I still dream of being a butcher.

Look at these lovely porterhouse steaks Mrs. McCormick,

I’m sure Stanley will love them.


Or no Mrs. McCormick, with steaks like these a little salt and pepper is all you’ll need,

that and a good hot cast iron skillet.

Let me wrap them for you.

What could be better than to share the joy of quality meat cut by hand,

to give a little cooking advice,

to be loved by all.

No one really cares if the butcher is packing around a few (hundred) too many pounds,

or has an outrageous mustache,

such signs of eccentricity and joie de vivre are signs of excellence in a butcher.

I can’t ever remember seeing an angry butcher,

and if I did I leave straight away and find another market,

such are the joys of meat handling,

how can one be sad surrounded by glorious steaks, roasts, and chops,

and all the glorious offal,

kidneys, livers, and hearts,

all waiting to be turned into something delectable by bold cooks, who know what hidden gems they can be.


when I grow up,

if I grow up,

I shall be a butcher.

Categories: Poetry
  1. August 5, 2010 at 4:36 am

    I like this. It has such a happy, and such an old-world (for lack of a better word) feel about it. I especially love the descriptions of the different butchers and the comparison to doctors.

    Nice job, Nate.

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