Conrad Geller


LUCA: Last Universal Common Animal
A 4 Billion-Year-Old Ancestor Of All Living Things On Earth (headline in

When LUCA swam the primal ooze,
a simple living thing, but barely,
with now and then a bite to eat
and sometimes reproducing, yarely,

and straight on evolution’s path,
as scientists would duly note,
it necessarily produced
bacterium and eukaryote.

The latter cell, by aggregation,
became a sponge, a jellyfish,
and by selection turned into
all of the creatures God might wish.

Then land-borne animals emerged,
the toad, the worm, and so much more,
the dragonfly, the scorpion,
the terrible, tragic dinosaur.

Little LUCA couldn’t know
that somehow, as the fates held sway,
there would arise a human being
with somewhat similar DNA,

all from this microscopic speck
of little more than protoplasm.
Such is the miracle the world
did not destroy, and therefore has ‘em.


Conrad Geller is a native Bostonian now living in Northern Virginia. He has been a poet, critic, and reviewer since Harry Truman was President. His work has appeared widely, both electronically and in print. Prizes include a Charles E. Tuttle Prize, Greenburgh Arts Award, and several prizes from the Poetry Society of Virginia.

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