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Dear Brain

September 23, 2009 5 comments

by Muriel Karr

(lavish love letter, written in the hope of ending
severe migraines; the ruse didn’t work)

Beloved brain, precious seat-of-emotion amygdala,
how hard you have worked to make me who I am. O pons,
much-praised cerebellum; fourth ventricle, observed
in my atlas of human anatomy; nuclei and fiber bundles,
long may ye wave, though I may not have mentioned you before.

I live in gratitude, despite any moaning, for your complexities,
dear brain. Your pathways, your receptors; how you integrate
motor signals. Medulla oblongata, hippocampus, colliculi;
occipital lobe, gray and white matter, mammillary bodies:
have I told you lately how much I love you?

I love to speak your name, though I consider you
not Broca’s, but mine, dear brain. O cranial nerves,
did my switch of handedness from left to right
disturb you? Does all flow as it should, in your cerebral
aqueduct? I want, even cherish, your over-excitable cells.

Tell me what food I should feed you: I will provide.
You will be massaged; caressed. Iced, if needed, when vessels
expand with blood; I will shrink what ails you; comfort
with cool hands. You afford me, dear brain, a peerless mind
connecting dots as no other. Let me count the ways.

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Muriel Karr was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on Mother’s Day in 1945. Her two books of poetry are Toward Dawn (2002) and Shape of Pear (1996), both published by Bellowing Ark Press.

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