Erin Miller

Beef Braciole

On her way to

Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation,

where she cooks.

She fingers her rosary and thinks of dinner.

She lights up a Lucky Strike, the butt a cherry red.

It smokes itself while dangling from her lips.

A ration book waits in her purse for later

but first to the temple.

The Rabbi has left for the night.

As the shabbas goy, Agnes blows out all the candles in sight.

Collects her dime tip.

At the butcher,

she rips out a meat stamp from her ration book,

hands it over.

He hands her a paper package.

Chicken giblets, gizzards, and livers.

An ersatz beef braciole for her family tonight.

Woman Visits Recovery Ward

(After World War II)

She brings a platter of meatballs to her

Shell-shocked brother

She softly sings a song from the old country to her brother, his eyes closed.

She steals a glance at the man in the other bed

He begins to sing his own Irish ballads,

songs he knows by heart.

Her brother continues his drugged induced sleep

The singing stops. She looks longingly at the man.

His ballad now just a lost whisper in the fluorescent lights.

He returns her glance.

Romance blossoms fast.

Time will prove first impressions are not always the best.


Erin Miller is a substitute teacher in the state of Nevada. Her BA is in Visual Arts and Graphic Design. She is an MFA candidate at Arcadia University. Her past publishing credits include Daily Star, Lesbian Connection, and Poetry and Covid.