Billy Collin’s Osso Buco

Osso Buco by Billy Collins


I love the sound of the bone against the plate

and the fortress-like look of it

lying before me in a moat of risotto,

the meat soft as the leg of an angel

who has lived a purely airborne existence.

And best of all, the secret marrow,

the invaded privacy of the animal

prized out with a knife and swallowed down

with cold, exhilarating wine….

First stanza of Billy Collins poem called Osso Buco


That is not the end but I am stopping here. I don’t have anything wise to say, except that reading this brings forth both hunger, and a sense of disgust. The marrow is delicious on toast, but now knowing it now as the “invaded privacy of the animal,” I don’t know if it is going to taste the same.

I heard yesterday that since milk producing cows are pregnant, even organic milk is rife with hormones, which they are equating to early sexual development in girls. Puts a totally weird spin on serving my kids chocolate milk, like inviting my daughters to early puberty, which I need like a hole in the head.

My daughter (the eight year old) told me I was stupid yesterday. In a pensive mood, I found it so difficult to disagree with her, and I just stood there in a stunned silence, thinking, “My God, she has finally figured out I have no idea what I am doing here.” When it was really just that I had taken her IPad away.

On the upside, I read an essay by Brett Lott today in his collection, “Before We Get Started; A Practical Memoir of a Writer’s Life,” about the virtue of ignorance. He said, and I quote, “This is the wellspring of writing, whether fiction or creative nonfiction: the simple act and art of paying attention.”  He went on to say that paying attention, and recording observation can be more valuable than interpreting. Which can sound like posturing. I guess I tend to agree. It doesn’t mean that I can write strictly descriptively, but after reading that I went through an essay I am working on and stripped my “incredible insight” down.

So all we have to do in life is pay attention, he says. Today I am paying attention to Billy Collin’s words.

The energy of my fiery daughter.

My willingness to show up and write despite the doubt that plagues my every moment at the keyboard.

The rain outside.

The wisdom of my editor who said, “Stop rewriting and just send the damned draft.”

My dog who said and continues to say, “Don’t you just want to go for a walk?”

My husband who agreed that my 8 year old might have an Ipad addiction.

The cats who keep jumping on the Winter Solstice Tree. (Hard not to nice the random Christmas balls underfoot.)



    • MisheleMaron says

      yes, can you believe it?
      Thanks for reading. Just getting up and going. I hope all is well in that sunny place. Hard to believe you were once bouncing with that baby bundle. She has pink hair now. And more than little attitude…

  1. Robin Maass says

    Hurray, Mishele — you go girl! Love this post — yes, I’m there with you, especially with the doubt that plagues every minute at the key board.
    But I’m inspired …

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