Opposable Thumbs

It may have been around the time the coelacanth flopped ashore;

closed it’s gills to water breathing to suck the dry primordial air,

shivered with evolutionary purpose, and stood, stiff-finned–

and walked toward feet with toes and fingered hands,

that the thumb first appeared.

Perhaps like a flounder’s traveling eye it started here and ended there,

better suited to the opposable position from which it spawned

the fist, the grasp, the cerebral cortex and politics,

for it is in the exertion of the thumb against

the fingers that the hand holds,

just as the naming of those against whom one struggles

for ascendance begets us versus them.

One cannot be had without the other.


©   dana hughes    1.14.14