Poem: The Human Heart Beats Backwards

By: William Wren


The human heart retreats.
It recedes as it progresses.
It devolves as it evolves,
reversing as it beats.

The human heart beats backwards
but that isn’t how it starts.
An infant, it moves forward
with a million expectations.

It takes the body with it.
That’s the living law.
Together they are one;
that’s the rule of beats.

Each affects the other;
they’re twinned mysteriously.
The mind can only watch.
It doesn’t have a say.

The heart’s a thrumming thing.
It quickens with the prod
of all that it encounters
when everything is new.

It foxtrots at the start,
gavottes a moment after
then slows to a beguine
and next, a steady waltz.

Its forward beating changes;
science can’t say why
the onward moving heart
now beats the other way.

But the rhythmic heart gets lost.
It can’t sustain the dance.
The beat beats awkwardly;
it thumps now in reverse.

The human heart beats backwards.
The body goes along.
It doesn’t have a choice;
it’s what has been decreed.

The human heart beats backwards,
beating a retreat.
Everybody’s puzzled
by the backwards beating heart.


Categories: Poetry

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