It was my job to take fresh shots
Of the Great Helmsman's ears
Hot from a rally
Examine them minutely with a loupe
And decide whether the true Mao or
Mao's double was present that day.
We mapped the hills and valleys of Mao's ear
We were deep into the earwax of a dictator
Who killed 50 million of his subjects
While we examined the authenticity of his
Dwyer Jones lives in Lawrenceville, NJ. His work has been published in the Journal of NJ Poets, Big Hammer, Black Swan, and Maelstrom. "Mao's Ear" is based on a news item about unusual assignments during the Cold War for CIA operatives, and is one in a series of poems about oddities, personalities, and events of the 20th century than Jones eventually plans to publish as a book.