Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mom, Math, and Pumpkin Pie


by Jim Rapp

She must have cut the pie in six –
for five of us and one left for the server.
But a four-year old can barely count,
and may struggle even to reach six.

A math problem for a four-year old:
there are six members in the family;
how many times must the pie be sliced?
a. 3, b. 5, or c. 6? Truth be told

there are many ways to slice a pie
but none that interest a four-year-old;
it is the pie – the very slice of pie –
that interests him. I recall that I,
 
heedless of the math involved,
petitioned Mom for yet another piece.
She, careless of the math, complied and
only later, when the math was solved –

when finally I’d filled my selfish tummy –
I realized that minus five plus minus one,
in some strange way meant zero. In ignorance
of math, the child had robbed his mommy.

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