Mitochondrial Eve

Children lowered down a well
so dark the stars shine
even in the day. They hide

swinging over dank waters,
asleep in a net strung tight as web.
They’ve been there so long
they forget what they fled,
who hid them.

Reflected heavens
in a dark pool cannot tell
whose rope holds them safely
or when she will tug them back.

It comforts them to gaze
at the ripple of astral specks below,
then glance at the hole of light above.

Below. Above. Below. Above.
Mysterious, the contrast:
Let go, fall into that deep beauty or
climb toward a brightness so blank —

This. No that. This. No.
They debate decades, millennia,
then give in to some subtle pull,

a strand of maternal code, thinner than hair,
stronger and lasting long as humanity.

Something of mother tugging all along,
and now they know they felt it always.

Danger passed, time past, they emerge
at last, stunned by the sun, wondering
why they stayed afraid of such things

as enemy or other, wondering
what was it made them stay down
so long.

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