Emerging from the womb,

cognoscenti of Babinski

know that a tickle

of the metatarsal

puts a smile

on a baby’s face.


If the big toe curls,

and all the others

fan into place,

then all is well

for the road ahead.


But if your toe extends

instead of flexing

you will not be happy

when you grow up.


It reveals a short circuit

between brain and spine.

You used to rant

when a finger bled

from a paper cut

or paper jammed

in a printer machine.


If you fail Babinski’s test,

you better head for Oregon

for a compassionate hand

where choosing death

can be like a “birth.”