little kids with hearing aids
by Jason Emde
have always had a peculiar power
to make me sad. More than
other obvious problems, I mean.
This may or may not be connected
to a Disney film about deaf kids
I saw at the Polson Theatre in 1981;
I could be wrong but I think
it was called Amy. A kid got hit
by a train & I cried in the dark.
The power to make me unhappy:
blameless little shells
on the sides of springtime heads
plugged right in the centre with
fancy technology that belongs —
clearly — in older, grizzlier ears.
Take them out or turn
them off — however they
work — & no beach waves, bird
song, Beethoven, Beatles. No Beatles!
I look at my sons, young &
smooth & mostly blameless,
& I revere their ears, which take
everything in. But maybe I’m wrong
about all this, too — if my boys could
turn the world down they’d lose
not only Nilsson & Nirvana
but also the asshole dog next door,
kitchen arguments about money,
the diabolic squawk of Trump-era tv,
dad’s querulous bullshit about work
& weather, decrepit men sucking their teeth
& the clocks, the clocks ticking,
the clocks blameless & busy,
lifting partitions & waving hello
About the Author
Jason is a teacher, writer, amateur boxer, Leonard Cohen enthusiast, and graduate student in the MFA Creative Writing program at the University of British Columbia. He is also the author of 'My Hand’s Tired and My Heart Aches' (Kalamalka Press, 2005) and the co-author of the parodic action novel 'The Crunch Gang Meet the Deadly Zombie Ninjas of Japan' (Amazon e-book, 2018). His work has appeared in Ariel, The Malahat Review, Anastamos, Miracle Monocle, Prometheus Dreaming, Panoply, Cleaver, Soliloquies Anthology, and Who Lies Beautifully: The Kalamalka Anthology. He lives in Japan with his wife, Maho, and their sons, Joe and Sasha.