The Loaf By Paul Muldoon

When I put my finger to the hole they've cut for a dimmer switch   
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 a 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 a clinky-click.


When I put my nose to the hole I smell the floodplain   
of the canal after a hurricane   
and the spots of green grass where thousands of Irish have lain


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 whole seed


with a link and a link and a linky-lick.
Source: Moy Sand and Gravel (2002)

Poet Bio