Chromosome 3: Devotion
by Scott Wiggerman

Under Mendel's strict guidance,
peas did not grow;
they flourished like gifted students.
Generations of hybrids
wielded to his tutelage:
round seeds, wrinkled seeds,
tall stems, dwarf stems,
green leaves, yellow leaves.
Thousands of plants were no match
for his calculated observations
and analytical record-keeping.

This quiet monk chronicled their progress
in his quiet, methodical Eden,
learned that heredity was not
a matter of blending liquids--
the blood of one plant
with the blood of another--
but of independent entities
the world would one day call genes.

Sometimes genius requires time
for the world to get ready.
That would come later,
long after Father Mendel,
his peas, maize, and fuchsias,
had returned to the earth.

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