Poems of the Week

Nuclear Family

by Julia Griffin

“Fossil hunters find evidence of 555m-year-old human relative:
Ikaria wariootia is half the size of a grain of rice and an early example of a bilateral organism …
The researchers say the diminutive creatures are one of the earliest examples of a bilateral organism—animals with features including a front and a back, a plane of symmetry that results in a left and a right side, and often a gut that opens at each end. Humans, pigs, spiders and butterflies are all bilaterians, but creatures such as jellyfish are not.”
—The Guardian

These days when all is virtual and virusy,
And nothing’s even notionally nice,
I’m taking some vicarious
Delight in these Ikarias:
My kin, the size of half a grain of rice.

They all possess a tiny plane of symmetry,
And open at each end for you know what;
I find these Wariootias
Bilaterally beauteous!—
As creatures such as jelly fish are not.