An Organ of Extreme Perfection

by Matthew Buckley Smith

We’ll never know where every part is from,
Though it was from your mother’s side you took
The nose and second toe, and from mine come
The cowlick and the constant worried look.

Most parts were passed down from some common place,
Mislaid by thirty thousand years of snow,
Where a few last bear-skinned stragglers of the race
Fell quiet by the fire and turned to go.

Before that, other deaths shaped other parts:
Unlucky hunters spared you clumsy feet,
And a hundred billion slightly fainter hearts
Lost time against your own impatient beat.

But for now, we lie and say all this was made
For you, as you seem dimly to believe,
While the days pass like a holiday parade
Of sights you’ll learn to love, and then to leave.

Published on August 12, 2015