Paul Muldoon reads The Loaf
The Loaf, by Paul Muldoon
When I put my finger to the hole they’ve cut for a dimmer
in a wall of plaster stiffened with horsehair
it seems I’ve scratched a two-hundred-year-old itch
with a pink and a pink and pinkie-pick.
When I put my ear to the hole I’m suddenly aware
of spades and shovels turning up the gain
all the way from Raritan to the Delaware
with a clink and a clink and clinky-click.
When I put my nose to the hole I smell the flood-plain
of the canal after a hurricane
and the spots of green grass where thousands of Irish have
with a stink and a stink and a stinky-stick.
When I put my eye to the hole I see one holding horse
dung to the rain
in the hope, indeed, indeed,
of washing out a few whole ears of grain
with a wink and a wink and a winkie-wick.
And when I do at last succeed
in putting my mouth to the horsehair-fringed niche
I can taste the small loaf of bread he baked from that
with a link and a link and a linky-lick.
From Moy sand and gravel, by Paul Muldoon
Copyright © Paul Muldoon, 2002