POEM: “Numbers” by Mary Cornish
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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 garden now. 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.
—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: September 13, 2019 at 07:19PM
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