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Sport 42: 2014

Darwin’s First Reader

page 64

Darwin’s First Reader

Did she turn your pile of papers
face down on the table? Did she say
she would rather have you,
and everyone else in your world,
continue to believe, and hang all
your evidence, your findings related
to the beaks and feathers of pigeons,
the behaviour of bees? Did she ask
then what’s the point of all this,
what of our three children dead,
what of the Churchman’s guarantee
we would see them again?

I can see you before you do it
(and you mean to do it)
standing at her elbow with your theory.
She hasn’t noticed you yet,
she’s playing the piano with such feeling.
You pause, uncertain now
if you’re up to the task.