When Wilder Penfield cut through brain
To fix short-circuits, make folks sane,
The patients were throughout awake
To help a map of trouble make.
He noticed how the ‘self’ of each
Looked on their memories; arms would reach;
Would talk of being ‘there’ but ‘here’;
Apart from all their functions clear.
Second career when he retired
The press of work no more required
Allowed pursuit of larger quest
To chase this insight without rest.
He noticed how with age we wane
Both strength and speed no more the same
But though all faculties do drop
Maturity of soul does not.
But rather, when it’s given a chance
The inner spirit’s growth’s enhanced
As challenges are met in strife
Both early then throughout all life.
So what’s beneath that lolling head,
The drooling mouth when word’s not said?
Perhaps what’s there for us to see –
That spirit’s immaturity.