Microbiota

mites
Eyelash Mites – you’ve probably got them and didn’t even realise

 

Microbiota

I’ve mites on my lashes,
And yeasts in my guts,
And hundreds of species
Of germs on my skin;
But not cos of rashes,
Or buboes or cuts,
Or dry parts or greasies,
Or illness within.

For ev’ry itch I curse,
There lurk my lurkers:
I know you’re there, my pretties
And I know I am your food.
My constant hitch-hikers:
My loafers and workers.
You are my troops, my cities,
You’re my nations and my brood.

Way down my intestines
Are hundreds of others,
Who outpace each cell
In my body by ten;
And while some infestings
Are life-giving brothers.
They yet could rebel
If they turn pathogen.

For ev’ry inch of me,
I am outnumbered;
And long before my birthing
Saw you terraform my loam.
I thrive unflinchingly,
Yet so encumbered.
Be gentle with this earthling
As you make yourselves at home.

 

 

Since I wrote this, the theory that bacterial cells outnumber our own by 10:1 has been called into question, and a figure of 4:1 is now proposed.  Alas, I have already rhymed with ‘ten’, so it has to stay.

 

 

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