Science  Write  Now

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First published in The Weekend Australian, Dec 2016


Because the old

microscope when


we dusted it off was

crudely broken


and a new and subtler one

is coming, we prepare


by rehearsing

rules for handling:


sidelong eye for

precision in lowering


lenses, not headlong;

patience in making


and working slides,

letting cover-slip


drop deftly with tooth-

pick (all these nice


distinctions painful, still

utterly abstract, a prep


for no lab but this

inescapable partnership


from which you’ll develop

self-reliant experiment)


and only ever carrying

the weighty instrument


with one hand under,

like lifting a baby


I say, the way I

lifted you, and mimic


with empty air now

the shape we made