Down the creaky, wooden steps
Thirteen seconds long
Around the corner at the end of the hall
Through the doorway
Eight feet tall
Trod along the dusty sidewalk
Five song long
Across the street at the light
Under the lamppost
Twenty feet’s height
Pass the noisy, crowded market
Billboards fifty feet long
After the woman selling fake gold
Around the street urchin
Six years old
Stand in a line along the wall
Nineteen persons long
Pass the guard and through the gate
Arrive at school
Just three minutes late!
I remember walking to elementary school every morning when I lived in the Philippines. For me, it seems like it was a very long walk. I lived in the city and so I passed by many things along the way. I don’t think I ever disliked it walking to school. My mom took me, of course. But in reality, the walk was probably no that far.
While some of the things I mentioned in this poem are made up, others, such as street urchins, the markets, billboards, and streetlights were real. There was even an overpass, kids inhaling drugs, jaywalkers, people washing their clothes and dishes on the sidewalks, and other goings-on that you’d only see in the Philippines.
No matter how long, short, busy, dangerous, or tiresome it might have been, though, I always have good feelings when I remember those days – walking to and from school, every day…
20 thoughts on “Numbers”
pretty cool trip to school…i like the detail…and the sound…the fast we need guards is a bit saddening..the measurements as well for some reason cement this for me…
Guards at the gate of the school was a common thing in the Philippines. I don’t understand why there aren’t any here in the U.S. There are guards at hospitals and other business type buildings, but how come there aren’t any where children – who are the most vulnerable, and most precious to us – go to “work” everyday? I mean, even before school shootings were rampant here, there should have been guards at every school (not just high-class private ones). 😦
Love how you’ve brought an ordinary, every day activity to life with your descriptions of the sights and sounds. I also enjoyed the numbers linking it all together – and only 3 minutes late!
I’m glad you enjoyed it. It was fun reminiscing and writing it all down – albeit some was a stretch of my imagination. 😀
That’s one of the beauties of poetry – it doesn’t all have to be true 🙂
ha nice…lots of things to see on that walk to school…i probably would’ve been an hour late or so…smiles
Indeed, lots of things to see. But I think that if I were to take that walk now, I would definitely be late everyday! Haha!
Made me think of my old walk to school – very different from yours. Nice to walk with you.
Thanks for walking with me! What was your walk like? Was it more adventurous? 😀
Nice incorporation of the numeric prompt. It seems to me that the specificity it creates adds a lot of life to the poem.
Thank you. Sometimes, I find it hard to describe things. I thought the numbers might be able to create a little more impact without me saying more. Did it work?
Beautiful…I love saying it out loud…those are the best poems words with rhythm makes it fun..
So true. I don’t think I could write without rhythm. Poetry without rhythm gives me a headache. I like to move with the words. 😉
I enjoyed this. Probably because I am a quantifier who counts ceiling tiles in doctors’ waiting rooms, and the number of steps on stair landing and other stuff like that. Used to read the World Almanac, too, and then knew such things as the dimensions of all the details of the Statue of Liberty. Kids really DO this! Thanks for the reminder.
I’ve no doubt there are kids (and adults) who do this everyday. I don’t think I realized all of these back then. It’s only in restrospect that I am able to see any patterns to anything at all. 😉
I just listened to your “Requiem for Verse” on YouTube. Very well read, my friend. I really like that poem. I might’ve read it once before, but it was nice hearing it today. Thank you for making me smile. 😀
yes an interesting journey. =)
It certainly was. I wish I appreciated it more back then! Ah to be young and WISE, no?! 🙂
smiles…good to see you today…thanks for stopping in…hope your week is going well…
Thanks for visiting. It’s always so nice to hear from friends. 🙂