**Trouble with Word Problems**by Deanna Nikaido

Once asked to solve the arrival time of two trains

traveling at different speeds

toward the same destination—I failed.

Mathlexia my friend said.

But sitting in either of those two trains

staring out the window

I knew time was at the center of all my arrivals

and that distance was not linear.

I couldn’t solve circumference by its formula

given the radius or

find the hypotenuse of a triangle

given the values for a and b.

There were not enough words.

No one explained to me

that

*pi*was a swirling river or that

*fibonacci*sang inside the invisible bones of trees

I sat in to untangle myself.

At fourteen I started speaking in poems

solving my own equation.

My answers radiating from

a heart I could not prove

knowing the distance

between any two lives

traveling toward the same stillness

erases itself.

Nikaido's poem is one of more than five dozen mathy poems available in the anthology,

*Bridges 2016 Poetry Anthology*-- a must-have collection whose cover is this fractal artwork by Robert Fathauer.

Iterated fractal curve by Robert Fathauer |

## No comments:

## Post a Comment