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The neutron


When a pion an innocent proton seduces
with neither excuses, abuses nor scorn,
for its shameful condition, without intermission
the proton produces, a neutron is born.

Its spin is a half and its mass is quite large,
(about one AMU) but it hasn’t a charge;
in strong interaction
it doesn’t experience coulombic attraction.

What love have you known, O neutron full grown
as you bombinate into the vacuum alone
and what can you borrow of love, joy or sorrow
poor neutron, when life has so short a tomorrow.

Within just twelve minutes comes disintegration
which leaves an electron in mute isolation,
creating another ingenuous proton
for other unscrupulous pions to dote on;

And last a neutrino: alas one can see no
fulfilment for such a leptonic bambino;
no loving, no spinning,
eight times through the globe without ever beginning.

A cycle mechanic, no anguish, no panic,
for such is the pattern of life inorganic:
oh better the fret a poor human endures
than the neutron’s robotic, psychotic amours!

Adapted from an anonymous script found in the Dido reactor shell at Harwell.