I learned to make meatballs from my neighbor Tony
who hired me as a short order cook
for the greasy spoon he owned in Southie.
The dead man’s shift, 12-8, was slow –
plenty of time to teach me what to do.
We tore Italian bread apart,
held the pieces beneath the faucet
and squeezed the water out.
We cracked eggs into a bowl
and mixed the wet bread
with the red ground beef, oregano and salt.
The meatballs baked while I fried
eggs, bacon and home fries
for the working girls and drunks
who stumbled in.
This was before Tony went away
for printing twenties in his basement,
before Joey broke in and stole our TV,
and the bank took their house.
Ed Meek has published in The Sun, The Paris Review, Plume, etc. His most recent book of poetry is Spy Pond. Luck, a collection of my stories came out in 2017.