I like the generosity of numbers.
The way, for example,
they are willing to count
anything or anyone:
two pickles, one door to the room,
eight dancers dressed as swans.
I like the domesticity of addition--
add two cups of milk and stir--
the sense of plenty: six plums
on the ground, three more
falling from the tree.
And multiplication's school
of fish times fish,
whose silver bodies breed
beneath the shadow
of a boat.
Even subtraction is never loss,
just addition somewhere else:
five sparrows take away two,
the two in someone else's
There's an amplitude to long division,
as it opens Chinese take-out
box by paper box,
inside every folded cookie
a new fortune.
And I never fail to be surprised
by the gift of an odd remainder,
footloose at the end:
forty-seven divided by eleven equals four,
with three remaining.
Three boys beyond their mothers' call,
two Italians off to the sea,
one sock that isn't anywhere you look.
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Numbers by Mary Cornish )
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
- world full of uncertainty, lee fones
- To My Ever Faithful Elaine, David McLansky
- OUR NAMES اسماءنا, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- OUR NAMES, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- World News, Tony Adah
- OUT OF THINGS, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- Democracy, Akhtar Jawad
- To My Sister With Love, Rubaba Mmahajia Rahma Sabtiu
- A LIAR الكذاب, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- The New Life: Stage Six Part One for Ma.., Daniel Brick