Except, inexplicably, the last

June 18, 2021

Nearly all animals produce their own vitamin C, but we can’t.
We undertake every part of the process except, inexplicably,
the last step, the production of a single enzyme
. —Bill Bryson

 

          After however
many steps to manufacture
         our own vitamin

          C, we
stop. I could imagine
         in that some

          diligent divinity
who, having mostly finished
         the delicate design

          and straightened
out unexpected kinks, starts
         from the workbench

          and thinks,
I bet they’d like
         oranges
, and arranges

          our one
missing enzyme, a shortfall
         that means eons

          later some
ballyhooer will stand blossom-besotted
         and belly-holler blithely

          (if also
somewhat ironically) By Jove!
         during a jaunt

          through those
sweet-scented acres that compose
         his citrus grove.