On the Origin

I find an old copy of Darwin’s
On the Origin of Species
among my father-in-law’s
Bibles and theology books,
and my own laugh startles me
in the empty house. We never
talked about Darwin that I recall,
but of course this well-read man
wouldn’t have been afraid
of the church’s favorite villain
after Satan and Judas. His faith
was never threatened by thought.
I once thought that to be saved
was to laugh at science—what
a shock to later learn Darwin’s
sin was observing turtles and
pigeons, flying squirrels and bats,
and realizing that all things
change. I know that I can’t keep
everything and that nothing I take
will be enough to fill what’s lost,
but I pick the crumbling book
from the shelf, wrap it in tissue,
and tuck it into my suitcase to save.

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