a poem a day for a year # 50

by Amy Turn Sharp


My friend's daughter shakes her fist at life
I will never die she tells her mother
four years old
like a pistol


She probably won't
at least not for a very long time we pray
live long and good and open
until the day she sees how much math there is really to life
the subtraction and addition of people
like lotteries
like gamble pits
like back alley dice

she may be like me and cruise far into the years without
watching the equations play out
like me until people start to go missing
into the ether
older people
then young like a mystery
then people we have kissed
shared beds with
family
familiar strangers

we start to die a little ourselves
saddened by the way we can't fight what is happening all around us
we can't bring back
multiply
divide time

each time the news comes
it does not toughen us up
to the circle of life
to the sum

it makes us wish we were that little girl
tough petulant
and we could shake our fist against the cruel moments
and live forever
add it up