Green Eyed



Due to a genetic mutation

which occurred 6,000-10,000 years ago,

all blue-eyed people share an ancestor

from the Caucasian region – Science Daily


They say the modern Bulgarian word sin

can function as an adjective meaning blue


and that the sky and the ocean appear blue

because of an illusion named Rayleigh scattering.


As I didn’t inherit my mother’s eyes,

I tried blue contact lenses in my teens,


tried to match her shade of aquamarine,

richer than the sea on Greek postcards.


Still, no one ever said, your eyes are sapphire blue,

as my school friend’s dad once told my mum.


Mum said this man looked like Paul Newman,

whose surname she’d been born with,


from the German, Neumann, to mean newcomer.

I pictured their blue-eyed ancestor


resting in her cradle by the Black Sea,

waiting to disperse sin across the world.


I smelled the pines on the Balkan peaks,

heard the wind moving through them:


northward to Varna, Constanta, Odessa,

and on its breath it carried rumours


of a new-born girl, named not for her beauty,

but the mutation in her eyes.