by Gwen Carlson

When a parent cell divides
into two daughters
it does not divide equally.

One daughter is smaller, deficient,
for she has been programmed to die.

before division
is even complete
a catastrophic chemical cascade
has already commenced.

While her sister thrives,
proteases activate
and cleave DNA
into pieces.

Finally the remains are
efficiently phagocytosed
and eliminated.

This is essential
so every cell
has enough to eat
and ample room.

And this is the natural way of things.