Poetry 13 June 2018 Cells A new poem by Fiona Benson. CREATIVE COMMONS Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up These are the chimera – foetal cells that migrate across the placenta and bed down even in the mother’s brain. Straight-off I thought of that robot car driven by a web of neurons extracted from a rat and grown on silicone, electrode-primed. The rat-brain drove the car and the car spun its wheels and went mad – shunting into corners, cowering under the scientist’s chair – behaving like a rat that found itself exposed and sought concealment. It knew it was out in the open. It did not know it was dead. As for my daughters’ cells left stashed in my body like stowaways or spies, I think they pilot me into agonies of protection – it’s not my own mortality I flail at now, but theirs. Look how obsolete I am in person, how fitfully I steer, how I’m wheeled and governed. Fiona Benson’s first collection, Bright Travellers (Jonathan Cape), won the Seamus Heaney Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Prize. › The SNP’s Commons walkout was the wrong protest on the right issue Subscribe £1 per month This article appears in the 15 June 2018 issue of the New Statesman, Who sunk Brexit?