My mother is demented.
We are walking in the grounds
Of the Surrey Lunatic Asylum.
It’s spring, green and peaceful.
“What,” I ask, inspired by a flower
And the need to fill silence,
“Is the point of sexual reproduction?”
“To bring people together
To combine the male and the female,”
Answers my demented mother.
“Yes, but it’s more than that.
By mixing genes you create new possibilities,
New kinds of creatures
That can survive changed circumstances.
If you were just to bud off a new you
She would be the same as
Perhaps unprepared for a changed world.”
“I thought it was something like that,”
Says my demented mother.
Why, I wonder, am I giving my demented mother
A lesson in evolutionary biology
In the grounds of the Surrey Lunatic Asylum?