Wayne Clifford. An Ache in the Ear. Toronto, Ontario: Coach House Press, 1979.
1I’m tracing my ancestry to coal.
2The line is exacting; it runs back thru
3the life smell on my hands while I eat
4making the taste of the meat not
5what was meant by the beast it grew
6to. The arithmetic of living, as it
7burns down, implies a continuation
8in the counting. The space between
9one to one. I try on some skulls of anthracite.
10None fit. My family is living on its own.
RPO poem Editors
Poem used with permission of the author.