Genus Planaria—tiny flatworms found under rocks in streams and ponds
Sunlight glints off two upside-down shiny
tin trash can lids and off the water that fills
and fills them from a garden hose:
the water shivers in these silvery pools.
My mother, cross-legged, hunches over the lids,
recording what her flatworms are doing—
for this experiment, she’s chopped off
their heads—killed them—No, no,
she explains, their heads grow back—
you can even cut them in half. Sunlight
flashes too brightly off the water, off
the new metal, and she says, Look, do you see
how they’re turning away, how they don’t need
eyes to see the sun?
And this is the world, always, my whole life,
this brightness—Look, Mom, no eyes!
I know where the sun is. But now I see
where they were going all along—their sun
is under rocks—it’s the dark that shines.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 3.
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