Sunday, 1 February 2015

First Time

Recombination of the gametes ends.
Creation of complexity in one
Small moment of meiosis. And an ear,
An eye, immunity from being ill,
Amygdala and cortex, veins, and eight
Long, bony fingers and a unique scent
Derive from ploidy or God.  A nascent
And sketchy, unknown future man, now sends
His mother scurrying to wretch back what she ate:
Some forced down thing whose pungency alone
Had turned the stomach, so she thought a chill
Had settled there.  And yet some latent fear
Was lurking; some vague knowledge would appear
Unbidden, hinting at invasion, sent
In preparation for that shock which shakes self will
To its foundation, damns and overjoys and lends
The snowdrops in their purity a tone
Of sneering; and the mind the weight
Of knowing no escape.  This unformed tiny freight
Implants, is safe. Mitosis in the clear
Waters of the womb makes flesh and skin and bone
And vomiting and forms the slow descent
Into acceptance of one's fate.  One bends
And yields, it cannot be undone.  And there's a thrill,
Of sorts, in knowing that.  And in the still
Of unexpected peace between each height
And trough of cowardice and joy something sends
A helpful thought : other women bear
This.  Imagination helps, this as yet acaulescent
Flower can be seen in the minds eye. This one
Potential boy and man will be: he's won.
But there are months of feeling sick and ill,
Days where all one sees is reminiscent
Of one's previous life, which free from this weight,
Responsibility, seems sweet.  One tries to wear
A look of joy but one of vanquishment descends.
So one gives in, but this sleight of hand means ill
Feeling taints. One foreswears the adolescent self, childhood ends.

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