Mitochondrial Eve

July 21, 2019

Estimated to have lived approximately 100,000-200,000 years ago,
Mitochondrial Eve is the matrilineal most recent common ancestor of all humans alive today.

Please go down and thank her
under the arched branches
where she sits on her heels

arranging a circle of leaves
for a good bed. And on the inside
of her skin thank the mosaic.

Take what little she has and
give it back – one piece
and another, marked with plastic

tags. How high can she count
from your sieves submerged
in water sorting her shards

that lay a mosaic over the earth?
You know the entry when
you see it, in fact

you’d recognize her anywhere –
Reclining in pain on her bed
under a mile of boulders

always with the door open.

Sarah Rose Nordgren

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