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Mary Cornish
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.

If we stop to think about it a little, numbers are everywhere and all around us. Numbers can be so fascinating in how they can go together. Numbers are such a big part of our lives. Counting money and telling the time of day. Numbers are all around us.

This poem is about his daughter.


Eamon Grennan

At her Junior High School graduation,
she sings alone
in front of the lot of us--
her voice soprano, surprising,
almost a woman's. It is
the Our Father in French,
the new language
making her strange, out there,
fully fledged and
ready for anything. Sitting
together -- her separated
mother and father -- we can
hear the racket of traffic
shaking the main streets
of Jersey City as she sings
Deliver us from evil,
and I wonder can she see me
in the dark here, years
from belief, on the edge
of tears. It doesn't matter. She
doesn't miss a beat, keeps
in time, in tune, while into
our common silence I whisper,
Sing, love, sing your heart out!

Music can really be a big part in the way people feel. When we sing in front of people there are special moments that we can awe an audience or change peoples moods. Attitudes can be changed and lives can be changed through music.

Here's a moment of sports
confusion for you.


Louis Jenkins

I take the snap from the center, fake to the right, fade back...
I've got protection. I've got a receiver open downfield...
What the hell is this? This isn't a football, it's a shoe, a man's
brown leather oxford. A cousin to a football maybe, the same
skin, but not the same, a thing made for the earth, not the air.
I realize that this is a world where anything is possible and I
understand, also, that one often has to make do with what one
has. I have eaten pancakes, for instance, with that clear corn
syrup on them because there was no maple syrup and they
weren't very good. Well, anyway, this is different. (My man
downfield is waving his arms.) One has certain responsibilities,
one has to make choices. This isn't right and I'm not going
to throw it.

Football can be a very confusing game. Life can be very unpredictable too. You never know what life is going to throw at you and you have to be prepared for all that lies ahead. You are not always given what you expect to get and you just have to keep moving on and think fast.


Ronald Koertge *

They were never handsome and often came
with a hormone imbalance manifested by corpulence,
a yodel of a voice or ears big as kidneys.
But each was brave. More than once a sidekick
has thrown himself in front of our hero in order
to receive the bullet or blow meant for that
perfect face and body.
Thankfully, heroes never die in movies and leave
the sidekick alone. He would not stand for it.
Gabby or Pat, Pancho or Andy remind us of a part
of ourselves,
the dependent part that can never grow up,
the part that is painfully eager to please,
always wants a hug and never gets enough.
Who could sit in a darkened theatre, listen
to the organ music and watch the best
of ourselves lowered into the ground while
the rest stood up there, tears pouring off
that enormous nose.

Sidekicks never get any of the glory that they deserve. They always do the dirty work but never get the fame. They’re never as big as the real superhero and never get the good looks. But hey everyone has got to have a sidekick. They are the true heroes in my eyes.

Bad Day

Kay Ryan

Not every day
is a good day
for the elfin tailor.
Some days
the stolen cloth
reveals what it
was made for:
a handsome weskit
or the jerkin
of an elfin sailor.
Other days
the tailor
sees a jacket
in his mind
and sets about
to find the fabric.
But some days
neither the idea
nor the material
presents itself;
and these are
the hard days
for the tailor elf.

Everyone has those days where nothing seems to be going right. When you can’t find stuff and you find yourself becoming extremely frustrated. Your whole mood changes and it just becomes a bad day. There is a great song for this called Bad Day.
ge here.