Inverted Jenny


Who would you be if your mother had coughed
at the critical moment of your conception?
What if she had sighed and rolled away
from your fatherís fateful twinge that sent
a million would-be champions swimming
for their lives (and yours) towards the prize
ovum awaiting a heroís triumphant entry
and formal presentation? Consider the contents
of that list, instructions, specific and precise,
written in a four-letter alphabet. That is you.
No other recipe will do. Where would you be
if Baba had come down with the sniffles
the night of the dance, and your grandfather
had found another pretty piece of lace
to focus his attention? What if peace
had prevailed, and flight had been postponed,
and your great grandparents had no chance
to meet in the refugee camp? There are no
alternate events to finesse your selection. Only
those that occurred can be counted. Nothing
can change the scheme that made you you.