THE PHOTONS DECISION
 

I am a photon moving toward a slit to fly right through
As scientists are checking me to see what I will do.
They don’t know if I am a wave or particle I be,
For I present both properties—matter and energy.

When I pass through a slit I know the choices where to aim
Direction of my flight so that the pattern is the same.
I’ll land within the area that one slit will dictate.
The pattern will define just where I hit the photo plate.

But if there is another slit that also can pass light,
There comes an interference that may move to left or right
The place that I will choose to land, for differently you see
Will be the pattern on the plate if other light joins me.

So just in case some other light decides to fly right through
That other slit, I will make sure I act in concert too.
Though there may not be other light this time to act with me
I’ll leave the option open and behave appropriately.

But shut the other open slit and notice that I land
On spots that are taboo when interference is at hand.
The scientists did not know which slit, when they offered two,
Was the one that I used when I so quickly passed on through,

So they decided to watch me to see the slit I chose
To try to understand the way wave interference goes.
But they can’t see me as a wave of energy, you see.
So I become a particle so that they can see me.

But particles do not have interference like a wave.
No interference will control the way that they behave.
So I will land behind the slit that I have passed right through
Without a thought that other photons may have chosen to

Pass through the other slit because they too will act like me
And change into a particle when someone’s there to see.
Observers can see particles so that’s how I behave,
But when nobody’s looking, that’s when I become a wave.

Don’t worry how I know just when someone is watching me,
I am a particle changed from a wave of energy.
Don’t worry how I know if one or two slits occupy
The screen that was set up for me but do ask yourself: Why

Does consciousness reveal the things you understand to you?
What makes you think that particles don’t have consciousness too?
Or waves, or anything that is, or something you can’t see?
For consciousness is what we are— it’s how we’ve come to be.