Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mindless chance

From the 2005 Summer issue of from  Prairie Schooner we have this haunting poem by Diane Mehta about the unknown probabilities of life and not-life.

    1 in 300     by Diane Mehta

    To lose at science is the accident of trying,
    for worse or, best, acceptable ways cells divide

    then swell into heart, spleen, spine
    for every satisfaction, and love also aligned 

    according to sense. To carry a child
    inside the shaky side of feeling wild

    about it, to feel the shape of him
    in inches lengthen, his heartbeat a hymn

    that life can be taught without knowing
    a thing, with all the opinions he, growing

    older, would naturally form, based, again,
    on chromosomes that deal out death and gain

    like just another round at a half-lit table
    of weary players hoping their hand is not terrible

    as mine was. Little is given. Chance
    is a mindless science too accurate to withstand.

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