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Regeneration

by Colleen Borst about a year ago in slam poetry · updated 12 months ago
Third Place in Homecoming ChallengeThird Place in Homecoming Challenge
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A poem about home

Regeneration
Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash

The most constant home we live in

regenerates constantly.

Our body continuously cycles

in an attempt to harbor

our own selves.

The following average life spans are:

Hair: 2-7 years

White blood cells: 1 year

Fingernails: 6 months

Gut and stomach lining: 2-9 days

Epidermis: 2-4 weeks

Red blood cells: 4 months

Colon cells die off after about four days.

With sperm cells, their life is even shorter.

They only live about three days.

Brain cells, on the other hand,

typically last an entire lifetime.

Neurons in the cerebral cortex, for example,

are not replaced when they die.

The lens in your eye-core

has remained the same since you were born.

As have the vast majority of neurons in your brain.

But the circuits between,

the ones that store memories,

those change constantly.

Every 10 years

you have generated a new skeleton.

Every 15 years your

entire set of muscles is refreshed.

And the fat cells in your body

weren’t there 25 years ago.

100,000,000,000 new cells

are born every minute.

100,000,000,000 old cells

are destroyed.

But half of your heart

will stay with you

your entire life.

Does this mean I have already lost

more of myself

than I started with?

That my constant home

is, in reality, less constant than

I convince myself?

What pieces of me

have already been lost

due to changing circuits between neurons?

What pieces of my memories of you

have already been lost

with the half of my heart

that regenerates?

slam poetry

About the author

Colleen Borst

As an artist and a writer, I love pulling strands of folklore into our current world, imagining what could be, and paying respect to the past.

Visit me at ColleenBorstConsulting.com or etsy.com/shop/ModernHexology

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