Monday, March 16, 2015

Brain Science

Sunday afternoon at the Minnesota Science Museum
Claire holds up a four-pound plasticized human brain
pointing out the parietal and frontal lobes,
turning it over to indicate where the medulla once
connected to the spinal cord.
She balances his brain like a ripe cantaloupe.
This once pearly, now clay-gray wad
of tissue held a million thoughts,
both conscious and involuntary,
of a man--now dead.

When Claire turns her attention,
I poke my finger between
the flowerets of cerebral cortex,
dig up the memory of
his first dog, Ginger,
tease out the forgotten scent
of a Norway pine where
he sat in a deer stand,
waiting like a rabbit with a gun.

Claire glances at me
and I hide my hands,
knowing my transgression
of reading, like braille,
another man's mind.

I whisper into my
muddied palms
"How did you die?
Do you regret what
you've become?"


The lid squeaks as
Claire closes the temperature-
controlled mock-mausoleum
clicks the padlock shut,
punches out for the day,
drives home whistling
"Let’s Go to Hunting"
as if by magic.

1 comment:

Charli Mills said...

Love this poem! It's a melding of science and mystery, such a fun yet poignant read.