For They

In perfect rhyme and strictest meetah,
I sing in praise of Annelida.
(If high school Latin made you squirm,
You may not know that s/he's a worm.)

To turn the pebbles into soil,
S/he plies hir lowly, mighty toil
Dissolving dirt, digesting loam.
No light nor air, s/he's quite at home

In hardest clay or rain-soaked bed
To burrow forth without a head.
S/he bores a path for future roots
So nimbly, though s/he has no foots.

To compensate this lack of legs,
Her fore makes sperm, his aft lays eggs!
What biologic elegance—
Two tickets each to Darwin's dance.

Some folks are fond of clear, bright lines,
They take affront at androgynes—
But why should they be made uptight?
Earth's crawling with hermaphrodites!

Their bodies compass two in one,
So copulation's double fun.
Slugs and grubs and flowers, too,
They pack both sperm and egg; what's new

Is separation.     Such a fuss,
Such rigid norms from brutes like us!
And thus this poem finds its ender:
Celebrate diversive gender!

by Josh Mitteldorf

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Have you ever met a 9/11 Truther with a sense of humor? Have you ever met a scientist who can talk about his research without making you yawn? (To learn more, Google, "mitteldorf cracking").