The Human Genre Project


The soles of human feet, in utero
develop callus, thus anticipate
bipedal life, supporting adult weight
on layers of thickened skin. How long ago
did we project ourselves from bole to bough:
a dizzy swing, a hurtling flight, a date
with death averted by a grab at fate
ignoring earth that waited far below?

It seems a poor trade, clumsy upright gait
for freedom of the canopy, although
if we have lost the right to brachiate
we've also gained these clever hands that know
how to remake a world. A useful trait,
this tiny callus on each infant toe.

Tiel Aisha Ansari