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Beget, Begat, Begot

In this classroom of jangling hair colors

bare arms and legs, chattering, some of it toothless

or banded, shrill sopranos, freckles, lispers, liars

whisperers and monkey faces, are those whose

voices will never break and who will grow up

to be hairdressers, fashion designers, have same-sex

marriages with offspring from surrogate mothers


We’re all accidental really, aren’t we?

x and y chromosomes meeting on

street corners, on shared bus seats or

behind the curtains of some online dating site


Except for the Hapsburgs and a couple of

isolated pygmy tribes in undiscovered jungles

and they don’t actually count in the pink, yellow,

brown, ping pong ball lotto machine swing of things


But it does matter, doesn’t it, proud to be Irish,

Mormon, Norwegian, Phoenician who can

trace his gene pool back to Hannibal

all holding our little flags and history books

defending our strips of territory like

urinating, growling dogs


So children, for homework today, I’d like you

to write an essay or a poem – something original

inspired by today’s discussion – entitled, perhaps,

Beget, Begat, Begot – or something like that

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© Johnmichael Simon



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