#100poeticanswers 11: How Did Our Species Begin?

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March 24, 2017 by Sez

This question from Lily, who also wonders if at some point humans used to lay eggs. I would say that we did lay eggs, but it was before we were human. Mind you I’m no evolutionary biologist.

When we were very simple, very small

We broke off little pieces of ourselves

To make ourselves again, again, again.

But each new tiny self was just a copy.

A simple pattern, endlessly repeating

Nothing could change. Again, again, again.

And so, one morning, we began to mix

Ourselves with others. 

To make someone who was entirely new

The new one was so small and delicate;

We made a shell so that, at least at first,

The new one would be safe until it grew.

The shell had to be thin, easy to break

So that the new one could get out of there

And strong enough keep out those who’d harm it.

The shells were difficult to keep protected. 

We couldn’t take them with us to find food.

And so we made our bodies be the shell

And when we mixed ourselves to make a new one

We carried them inside to keep them safe.

We’ve changed a lot since then. We’re human now.

(Because, of course, we mixed ourselves with others

And every time we made somebody new

We changed a little bit, became ourselves.)

But that idea has stuck, because it works.

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