Epigenetic Changes

I’ve heard a discussion
Once or twice, here and there,
About how trauma causes
Epigenetic changes that
Get passed down from
Parent to child to grandchild,
Past lives that are dripping
Poison into our veins.

They speak of world wars,
They speak of the Holocaust,
They speak of famines,
They speak of pandemics,
They speak of genocide,
Basically cataclysmic events.

I think of sitting on the metro
Staring at my shoes as one
Of hundreds of parents
Passes out slips of paper
Saying that they’ve got no job
And their children need to eat,
They put pictures on those papers,
Imploring our wallets for empathy,
It’s against the law to actually bring
The children onto the metro with you
When you’re begging for money,
It inspires too much guilt you see,
I always wonder where their children are,
Certainly not in school or at daycare,
Maybe alone, fuck, I hope they’re not alone.

So anyways, scientists speak
Of epigenetic changes,
And how it’s concerning
That we can inherit trauma,
But the discussion seems
A bit philosophical to me,
Something to think about it
For seconds at a time,
But that doesn’t inform
Your life at fucking all,
Just like how middle class families
Throw money to children in
Other countries without checking
Under the bridges of their own cities first.

Don’t get me wrong,
I think it’s concerning
That trauma affects our biology,
Not the only reason to
Actually give a fuck,
But concerning nonetheless,
Again, because it’s all philosophical,
We all really, really care
For seconds at a time,
Then the spotlight shifts
And we forget
For months at a time.

I wonder if the future
Will be full of people that
Were traumatized before birth,
I wonder if we’re already there.

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