A lesson on evolutionary biology in the grounds of the Surrey Lunatic Asylum


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?


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