Friday, April 08, 2005

Veiled Parasite


The mosquito-borne parasite
Plasmodium falciparum
A veiled lady
Dances slow measured tango steps
On a ballroom of red blood cells

Disguising herself
She skilfully
A genetic game
Of hide-and-seek

The mosquito-borne parasite
Plasmodium falciparum
A veiled lady
Wrapped in tightly bound bundles
Of red organza

Swirls in rhythm,
Among helpless,
Ruptured red
Blood cells

Alert immune system spies
Sensing danger
Astutely identify
This red veiled lady
Dancing disguised

Sounding the alert
They spring to defence
Only to have her
Deftly switch form,
Change makeup, costume

Sixty different genes
Sixty different protein shields
A united force lined up
Barely discernible
My body play catch-up
As plasmodium falciparum
Switches first one masked gene
Then another, relentlessly
The disguise

Weary I lie
Red cells ruptured
My body
Listlessly battles
The wily parasite

Before I succumb I must
Like Captain Kirk
Unravel the secrets
Of the veiled parasites
Invisible power over me

1 comment:

Anita Marie Moscoso said...

Hi Heather,

Now do one on Embalming Fluid!

Anita Marie