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A Poem: Darwin's Blues 

“We have lost the joy of our household
and the solace of our old age.” —Charles Darwin


Annie, my eldest daughter and best has died at the age of ten
from defects inherited from and shared by her father.
My thoughts have become a curse.
On Sunday, while the rest attend Eucharist,
I walk for an hour or more, three miles sometimes,
and I commune with differentiation, alone.

I see the future of us -each cell specializing for a greater advantage
breaking into smaller and smaller colonies
(I’ll avoid the term ‘bodies’ here)
until at last there will persist no persons but billiard balls of decreasing frailty
aloft on fetid winds,
denying the gravity that by definition must someday bury them
despite the wild beating of their tiny wings or hearts.

Still, when there’s a baptism and the organ swells into “Fairest Lord Jesus,”
I will sometimes linger on the street outside
listening for strains of harmony yet unknown to me;
wishing the beauty of music would be enough to foster in my heart
a sincere belief in Levitation.

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