By Susan Rae Sampson
My teachers preached the standard lore
of the time:
There were two kingdoms of living things,
animals and plants.
Fungi were classed as plants
until somebody took a look at RNA
and development from cells with nuclear membranes
and had an epiphany—
some twenty new kingdoms were defined,
including some I’d seen before,
like slime molds
so now when I see brown kelp
washed up on the beach
I can’t tell if it’s alive by looking.
A biologist sees an organism lying there;
I see a creature neither plant nor animal
and stand there in awe of what life can be
should I throw it back?
Copyright Sampson 2018