top of page


Chromosome 17, by Geraldine Ondrizek, 2011, was commissioned by the UW Division of Medical Genetics and is made of dyed and embroidered silk and engraved plexiglass

Some hold that for us all

there is something fundamental

about enjoying the right

to know without a fight

who we are

and from whom.



Others sense a need

to concede

that some truths should not be freed

as they can confuse what seems clear

alienating those held dear

even sparking fear.



His name was mine

His face suggested my father’s bloodline

We never met

I feel no threat

and yet

surreptitiously I fret.



Four decades before

a year less, a year more

he came into my life

when I spent an afternoon with another man’s wife.



If the past to me is not a mystery

Its future lies in its history

probably never to be revealed

assuming our story remains sealed.



Unless, that is, the unexpected intervenes

and we are confronted with our genes.

Click here to read in Spanish

Screen Shot 2021-10-21 at 9.46.44 AM.png




bottom of page