poetry friday

In honor of the beginning of a new school year…and for all those who have more poetry in the soul than numbers in the head!

Arithmetic
by Carl Sandburg

Arithmetic is where numbers fly
   like pigeons in and out of your head.
Arithmetic tells you how many you lose or win
   if you know how many you had
   before you lost or won.
Arithmetic is seven eleven all good children
   go to heaven — or five six bundle of sticks.
Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your
   head to your hand to your pencil to your paper
   till you get the right answer…
If you have two animal crackers, one good and one bad,
   and you eat one and a striped zebra
   with streaks all over him eats the other,
   how many animal crackers will you have
   if somebody offers you five six seven and you say
   No no no and you say Nay nay nay
   and you say Nix nix nix?
If you ask your mother for one fried egg
   for breakfast and she gives you
   two fried eggs and you eat
   both of them, who is better in arithmetic,
   you or your mother?