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  • Amy Shannon

Poem Showcase: Gemelli by Suzanne Werkema

Gemelli by Suzanne Werkema


Spaghetti is great, macaroni first-rate, but I eat them so often they’re boring. I like pasta best when it’s shaped to suggest what new plans I can make for exploring.

Rotelle looks like spokes and wheels on my bike, while stelline is stars, only thinner. Farfalle’s shape brings to mind butterfly wings. I’ll examine these things after dinner.

The pasta that makes my foot slam on the brakes? It’s gemelli ? two strings twisted tightly. It spirals away almost like DNA, bits of secret code hidden inside me.

My DNA floats in each cell, tiny notes to direct how my body’s created. I got the whole crop from my mom and my pop, who resemble me, since we’re related. My code says my eyes are dark brown, and my size must be small, but I’m strong since forever. I sang at age two. My tongue curls like a U. Plus I’m left-handed, freckled, and clever.

And DNA codes work in tigers and toads, in all critters and plants, not just humans. It’s why my cats play, why my dad’s hair turned gray, skin can stretch, and old trees can start new ones.

I hope to learn loads of these DNA codes. So I eat hearty plates of gemelli. Can pasta explain why my feet need my brain? No, but still it feels good in my belly.

Rotelle = roh-TEH-leh Stelline = steh-LEE-neh Farfalle = far-FAH-leh


Copyright @2018 Suzanne Werkema


A Note from the poet about the poem: "The poem originated when I noticed the resemblance between my plateful of gemelli pasta and the double-helix structure of DNA. I couldn't resist making a kids' poem out of this happy similarity."-Werkema

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