Student writing on blackboard“Helen,” I asked in all seriousness,
“Do mathematicians play or
Work
With numbers?

Before she answered, she gave me that
Signature

Helen-throws-back-her-head-
And-enjoys-the-moment-
With-a-healthy laugh.

Will she solve my dilemma,
Apply advanced calculations to
My adding and subtracting?

She is my prime number,
My quantity of infinity,
Always becoming
The poem with such ease,
Writing itself with silky smooth chalk
Traveling whitely, brightly across
A fifth grade blackboard.

No question too large.
No formula too long.
Helen, at the ready,
With slide rule in hand,
Makes knowing all too much fun to be work.

Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville, Virginia