Cells

Somewhere I read that all the body’s cells

rejuvenate with new ones so that

when their time is up they slough off,

replacements slipping into their vacated slots,

the kidney slot, the wrinkle slot, that bald patch,

a scar slot when I slashed my arm

climbing a fence to pick some purloined fruit

 

Backup cell forces, all new soldiers, yet somehow

despite their micro-biologic youth

exactly as I was before, down to my

last arthritic creak yet presuming to be fresh;

cloned cell armies rushing reinforcements to the front

to wage the same old battles

fall victims to the same chinks in my armor

 

Except that in this book or article I read

explaining how this replenishment

process happens, it said quite clearly

that in the case of brain cells there’s a problem;

refurbishment does not occur, grey matter cells

once withered, drop off forever, leaving

my poor mind in gradual deterioration

until winter’s senility solidifies like spreading ice

 

And then I thought of Picasso and Arthur Rubinstein

and through my bifocals watched their wrinkled fingers

playing cube and Emperor, all youth and flex

exuberant as new, following perhaps some wonderful

instructions of a cell general or commander

 

That himself had long since bit the dust

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© Johnmichael Simon

2009

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