Matrilineal

We have this in common,
the chattering gibber of monkey blood,
deviated by a systolic evolution.
At only 5%, it is a glancing problem for me.

We dress for the beach, and
conspire to hold mosaic family secrets
in the way the wealthy hide their estate.
Our purses bursting sand and medical curses.

Mum will wage war
with the concrete ape she has become to
swat the taxonomy of her place in the gene pool.
My human father relaxes.

I warm to the tiniest sand shades
held in our sunscreen, stuck to our creases.
I feel we could shake it out together in
nearby trees. Sand in simian hands like macaroni art.

I gape at the siliceous jigsaw puzzle
as time rewinds in my imagination.
Recognising the nature of ancestry, the terror
of this back-peddle is ameliorated by an epiphany

that the common denominator in each
wherever we stand on the evolutionary ladder,
is before our eyes. We run ahead, free-up slack sand
in the tenebrous ocean that we all once called a home.

Lucy A Evans 11th October 2017


 

I’m depositing this one here to remind me to further revise it. It comes from an orphaned poem of the same name I wrote in 2016. It will go through another trimming process before I’m entirely happy with it.

This is one of a number of poems I’ve written that refers directly to having simian hands. I inherited a genetic mosaicism from my mum, passed down to my daughter that gives me a single transverse palmar crease, which used to be rather unkindly named a “simian” crease as it is characteristic of monkeys. It has played a big part in my life and so it is the subject of the full collection on which I’m currently working.

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