An Unfinished Poem: Two-Thirds (.65517)

I am now

2/3 the age you were when

You left us.

.65517 to be exact.


My children

will be only slightly older than I was when

You left us.

2 years and 5 months to be exact.


When you left us,

I left your Math behind.

For years I abandoned all rules, formulas, patterns

For nothing was exact when

You left us.


Now, almost twenty years later

7086 days to be exact

I look at my son

Your grandson

Building patterns with his blocks

Figuring out formulas for his latest inventions

Following rules to discover odd numbers

And I know now

What I didn’t know then

You never really left us.


First Draft: May/June 2013

Notes: I would really like to rework this poem, specifically some of the phrasing and stanza length, as well as some of the mathematical elements. It needs reworking, especially the last line, which I feel is a bit over the top and yet I can’t seem to think of a better end line. Having said that, I do feel like it was ready for this space–since this is a place for the unfinished as well as the finished. This is about the Creative Process. In terms of the Creative Process, this poem is a great example of the time that is required for creativity. Since I first began it, this poem and all the stuff that surrounds it has been consuming me. The first two stanzas came easily and then I was stuck. Still am. Just thinking about it makes me simultaneously sad, anxious, and well, it mostly makes me sad. Maybe that’s why I felt the need to post it–to remove myself a bit from the poem. Remembering is hard. Recounting and retelling is even harder.


2 thoughts on “An Unfinished Poem: Two-Thirds (.65517)

  1. I really liked this poem. i think it works since your love of you dad and recognition of the continuation of his spirit in your son is expressed beautifully. I agree that it needs some re-working but not much. you might pay attention to the length of lines and their rhythm. for example, “following rules to discover odd numbers.” could be shortened without loosing the intent.


    • It’s funny that you mention the line “following rules to discover odd numbers” because I actually just crossed that line out entirely on the hard copy the other day, thinking about removing it.


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