by Zachary Shalett, Harvard University

Toting their own genetic science,

Eugenicists had bloodlines ended.

I think back, finding only silence,

No stories from which I descended.

A leaf upon a rich ringed tree,

I strain my eyes for roots beneath.

Our forest’s not what it should be,

Felled trees surround, all robbed of teeth.

What leaves would these stumps have put forward,

If evil had not cut them down?

To my own trunk, I struggle for words,

Confronting countless whys and hows.

A gust of guilt. My stem is shaken,

My own tree’s story obfuscates.

I see my rings’ truths must awaken,

Else keep myself in past mistakes,

Of those who spurned genetic truths,

Who, led by farce, were brought to hate.

While old woods coincide my youth,

I will recount my tree’s rare fate.