One of the things I love best about poetry is how poets can take some mundane, everyday-ish thing we all know about . . . and turn it into a wonder! The poem I’m sharing today does exactly that, and in a most lovely way. And I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
by Carrie Newcomer
My father taught me about numbers,
How to carry forward
What had grown too large for its column
Add the 5 to the 7
Carry forward the 10
Leaving only 2.
It is like that,
Taking all you’ve come through,
Combining everything gathered and lost,
Add to the sum a little kindness
For doing the best you could
With what you knew at the time.
Tally up all the fives and sevens,
All the sixes and fours,
All that came up odd or even,
Then carry forward
Your expanded self
Which has grown beyond the limits
Of the first container.
Nothing is ever truly gone;
It only changes places.
This poem can be found in Poetry of Presence II: More Mindfulness Poems, edited by Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby R. Wilson, 2023, Grayson Books. Information about the poet can be found here.
You can find A Gathering of Poetry every month . . . on the third Thursday.
Gather up some poetry!
(Bonny is hosting a special link-up for A Gathering of Poetry. Be sure to check it out!)
This is delightful, Kym! Addition as an analogy for life… seems perfect!
This is wonderful! I will never think of basic math the same way again!
Some of the best poetry is about the everyday, especially when it shows us how wondrous the everyday is! Thank you.
GREAT!! So good!! Especially the last lines: Nothing is ever truly gone; It only changes places. Love that!
I am not a numbers person but this poem does a wonderful job of using numbers to illustrate the stuff of life. I love it!
Sam (the 6 year old) likes to do arithmetic problems in the car … it’s making me rethinking “borrowing” and “carrying” in some fun ways.