Wednesday, February 28, 2024


The primal aberration
In this sequence, most likely,
Was the highly unlikely

Error in a single base,
The single point mutation,
The single substitution

At a significant place
In a germ cell that happened
To end up in utero

In a working embryo.
It rode all the way to birth,
Baby born with broken bones

And from there things just got worse.
Now that’s an aberration—
Elfin child, legs in braces,

Carried everywhere, large-eyed
And waifish in early years,
Later like a small barrel,

A keg with short, twisted limbs
And a triangular head,
Pushing around a wheeled chair.

Doctors tried a few dumb things,
Sawing and straightening bones,
But there was no fixing this.

So the boy was raised and kept
Mostly at home, and yet not,
As was the norm at the time

For middle-class family
Freaks, institutionalized.
Not putting him in a home,

But raising him in their own,
That was the second, counter
Aberration. He grew up,

Attended regular schools,
If only on the first floor,
Learned to draw and draft blueprints,

Work at a wheelchair-height bench,
Build things, so on and so forth.
A double aberration,

Eventually, then, errant,
Vulnerable to the bone,
And yet present, visible,

An actual person who
You could get to know, talk to,
Ask to build something for you,

Something like a disturbance,
A ripple in your normal,
Extraordinarily true.

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