A film – no videos then – to demonstrate
how the beat of a lamb’s heart,
unconscious, chest cavity open,
is governed by the Vagus nerve. Watch. See.

By cutting this thread we stop the heart.

Sure enough it stopped. A lesson
in science. Years later at work, I would weigh
warm hearts, hard and slippery
in my hands, cattle, pig, lamb,
think of hers racing in the sweat of us,
how we never thought the thread would break.

© Steve Walter
Smiths Knoll 33, June 2004

Biology practical