Aside

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

by Denise Brewer

There once was a girl named you,

with a mind clogged with number stew.

The numbers get stuck, creating a muck

too many, too large, too few.

You’re the one, let the numbers set in,

giving them power, letting them win.

“How”, you argue, “could a number win?

And what, pray tell, is the game we are in?”

It starts when we’re young,

learning 2+2 is 4.

It ends on the tombstone,

beginning, end and score.

What day were you born? The month and the year?

How old are you?  Too old you fear.

Forget your year. Think of your age.

Only a number, side by side on a page.

You could add them, flip them, even skip them,

but oh so few proudly admit them.

Age is so obvious. Let’s pick another.

Call the bank! Checking, savings or other?

Money of course is the almighty number,

Wielding its power with roars, echoes and thunder.

The minute we’re born, the worry sets in.

What was your year again?

The cost of diapers, college, that Schwinn.

Spend the money!  In it to win!

Piggy banks, pocket change, pizza and beer,

but for you, it’s food, shelter, failure and fear.

There’s never enough, that number will never be right.

What happens if_______?  Fill in your fright.

The money number always wins, but there’s more to the score.

How about that scale on the bathroom floor?

It’s a box with numbers, but we give it much more.

Happy or sad, hungry or full

Maybe I’m bloated-

I have some weight to pull!

Not just pounds, but weight on my mind.

It affects my day, my mood, or if I’ll be kind

to myself, of course-

I may need to be punished.

Should have more  control,

less food in my stomach.

But you’re hungry, you see,

and it’s more than a meal.

Hungry for love, acceptance,

and the beauty you feel

that number can give you. All of those things?

A powerful box, pulling your strings.

Money, age and weight

high scores go to these three.

But look around, time, dates, channels,

be sure you don’t speed!

hours, minutes, seconds,

temperatures, sizes, directions.

Numbers, numbers, numbers…

Could we live without, one wonders?

No scores, no schedules, no digits on a page.

Just being. Living. Thankful for our days.

Numbers won’t go away,

But be honest, you do keep score.

Stop giving them power, your strings and more.

Look at them for what they are,

use a pencil or pen.

Just lines, loops and swirls.

And guess what?  You win.

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