Think how it was the seventh day,

and the tenth, the twentieth—

how people must have said

it couldn’t rain like that forever.

And then it did, at least all of forever

they would know, time becoming tide.


We recite those ancient stories,

mythic explanations: Pangaea

breaking up, runoff from one Ice Age

or another. Unless it all

goes back to how, by accident

or on a bet, we crawled up


from the salt wash onto shore,

propped our finny elbows

in the sand and caught our breath,

no ark but the deep hull

of our consciousness, the place

we first put two and two together.

Copyright © 2016 James Scruton.

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