“We Share 60 Percent of Our DNA with a Banana”

By Meredith Davies Hadaway

Origins of Man Exhibit, Museum of Natural History

 

This explains so much. Why

King Kong fell for blond

Fay Wray; why everything

 

has strings attached; why we’re

drawn to rum but cringe at the

snarl of blenders; why we say

 

someone untested is still green;

why we feel safer in a bunch;

why we think banana peels

 

are funny; why Basho chose

to name himself Banana

for the kindred plant that grew

 

beside his hut—and when we

lose control, we go

bananas.

 

My friend tells me bananas

saved her life. A childhood

illness back in Africa, a tortured

 

stomach and wailing

mouth that nothing could

put right until—

 

O brave banana brother! Unlike

your fallen apple cousin, you

do not tempt but sacrifice.

 

No wonder banana clusters spring

from hearts and grow in tiers

called hands. Like you,

 

our skins are tough, our

souls are tender. And yes, like

you, we bruise so easily.

 

___

Meredith Davies Hadaway is the author of two poetry collections, The River is a Reason (2011) and Fishing Secrets of the Dead (2005). In addition to publishing poems and reviews in various literary journalsshe serves as poetry editor for The Summerset Review. Hadaway is VP College Relations & Marketing for Washington College.


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