Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Fibonacci Numbers

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At a hard wood desk, on a hard
wooden stool, a mathematician counted rings
of monastery bells next door, seeking
God in multiplying numbers. He considered the problem
of ideal fertility: rabbits in fields of buttercups,
daisies, asters, chicory, reproducing at the rate of one
pair per month. The arithmetical series revealed a mean, a golden
number, controlling the growth of leaves, pinecones
tossed in the fire cold winter nights, cauliflower he despised, seeds
that taunted Eve when she delved into the apple
seeking knowledge and gaining children.

I, too, chant the count of hope
each night: one ovum. One sperm. Two eyes. Three-
letter names -- Ann or Ian. Five fingers per hand. A perfect
nautilus spiral of an ear. I long for the fertility
of Fibonacci's numbers, that mystical statistical world
where one plus one equals three.

Kathryn DeZur is an associate professor of English at the State University of New York College of Technology at Delhi. She has previously published poems in Literary Mama, The Teacher’s Voice: A Literary Journal for Poets and Writers in Education, and Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Her daughter, Gwen, turned two in September.

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