The Irony Miner
by George Moore
George Moore

George Moore has published poetry in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, North American Review, Orion, Colorado Review, Nimrod, Meridian, Chelsea, Southern Poetry Review, Southwest Review, Chariton Review, and has been nominated four times for a Pushcart Prize. He was a finalist for the 2007 Richard Snyder Memorial Prize from Ashland Poetry Press, and earlier for The National Poetry Series, The Brittingham Poetry Award, and the Anhinga Poetry Prize. His recent collections are Headhunting (Edwin Mellen, 2002), poems exploring the ritual practices of love and possession, and an e-Book, All Night Card Game in the Back Room of Time (Pulpbits, 2007). He teaches Modern Literature and Shakespeare with the University of Colorado, Boulder.

He begins where others have left off,
deep in the mire, underneath the ground
with this helmet light showing him a way,
one of many, into his own heart

of darkness. He slips on his own blood,
spilled the day before, when he swung his pick ax
and punctured his leg. But he bleeds enough
for a whole company of miners, and survives.

His children think he is a poor musician
working for the mining camp. When they hear
the trombone’s clear article of faith rising,
lifting itself awkwardly in the stillness of the night,

they sleep a little easier, believing he knows
not what is best but what is right.

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