Foreign body

Would a transplanted heart
suffer the same old aches
or be bolder, more phlegmatic,
have whatever it takes
for me to tilt my cap,
whistle a tune in the dark,
fall out of love in an instant,
be up for the latest lark?

Would a transplanted limb
march to the same old drum
or might I now essay
the tango with aplomb?
It’s an appealing thought.
No more cowardy custard.
returning each shot with a backhand,
able to cut the mustard.

Yet even were I to get
the lot – liver and lights, two
limbs, bold heart, the whole set
in one go, strike out anew,
it wouldn’t do. Boss head
who runs the current show
is too canny by half
to skipper a random crew.

It’s asking for trouble,
mutiny somewhere or other –
the trouble with job lots is
the parts don’t pull together.
What you’ve got is what you are,
yours truly even when consigned
rueful, grumbling, dawdling,
to that vast dwelling underground.

Beatrice Garland

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