Torque Wrench

by Armand Garnet Ruffo


Confused and frightened world, missing
and murdered women, mass murder everyday
last year in the USA—365 in 365—terrorist attacks
in Paris, bombing in Burkina Faso, hotel Splendid
not so splendid, and I am nearly out of my mind
searching for my torque wrench, 1⁄2-drive
set at 89 ft-lb, the one I need to fix the tire
Survey the yard, shed, trunk, trunk, shed
What’s that dad? my young son says
hearing the radio as we get ready to drive
to the grocery store, once upon a time rabbits
snared innocently by a boy for supper
snowshoes and brass wire thin as a hair
set beside an old river he knew instinctively
would always be there even as he began to fade
What’s that dad? Instead I search for music
any music, and hum along because some days
that’s all there is to feel something better.


Armand Garnet Ruffo’s writing is strongly influenced by his Ojibway heritage. His poetry recently appeared in The Best Canadian Poetry 2016 (Tightrope Books). Publications include Introduction to Indigenous Literary Criticism (broadview, 2016), The Thunder- bird Poems (Harbour, 2015), and Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing Into Thunderbird (D&M, 2014), a finalist for a Governor General’s Literary Award. He currently teaches at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

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