And because I’m feeling productive today, I’ll post a second poem! This title was suggested by my best friend, because I could not for the life of me figure out what to call it. And Gene Blues was too terrible a pun to actually use.
In Daddy’s Genes
I am infected with that
Same nose, same eye colour,
Same hands, and more;
I inherited- or learned-
Arrogance, and stubbornness;
How to thrust my intellect
Up and out like a shield;
To slice others with words,
And to skewer them with silence.
My smile is a genetic disease,
My voice an unwelcome reminder.
And I wonder now
How many generations of
Lover, of thief, of farmer, of scholar,
Have shared the curve of my brow,
The same bark-brown hair,
And carved their words as I do?
I see my face, and all the faces,
Staring back at me in the mirror.
Is this my inheritance?
A predisposition for diabetes,
For cancer, for cruelty?
I see my fate in my sister’s dimple
And my brother’s blond curls.
Always the same pale pink skin
Blistering under the unforgiving sun.
And I wonder once more
How to throw off the chains
Of DNA and family;
Wonder if I could reach in
And dig out the offending
Markers and links and memories,
To hurl them down, screaming,
Defiant to the last atom.
Yes, I am infected with
Reminders, gestures, speech patterns,
Ingrained too deeply to shift at will.
My genetic makeup is immutable.
But that doesn’t change the
Small, secret, whispered wish
That one half- or all-
Of my twenty-three chromosome pairs
Were from a different donor.
© Bridget Noonan, 2011
This is one I have contemplated mailing out to a couple lit mags for publishing. What do you think, could I get in with something like this?