Number Tree

Number Tree
First Place Winner of the 2010 CT Press Club Communications Award for Poetry
Federation of Press Women National Award for Poetry

In a corner of my garden,
I have a number tree.
A tree that blossoms in base ten
And mesmerizes me.

In the very early springtime
When days begin to warm,
The branches sprout with little buds
As tiny zeros form.

The buds burst into flowers
Beneath a climbing sun.
And every slender flower
Is shaped just like a one.

The petals fall in drifts of white
As tiny twos unfold.
The twos develop into threes
Which soon increase fourfold.

The fruit begins to ripen
In balmy summer air.
One day I come to see the fours
And fives hang everywhere.

Each lovely five expands in size
Then grows into a six.
The sixes swell to sevens
And eights enter the mix.

The eights are round and golden,
But I’m afraid to prune them.
I don’t let others see the tree;
They’d shake a branch and ruin them.

So it happens every autumn
Though nobody believes:
In a corner of my garden
Nines are falling with the leaves.

“It is well crafted. Importantly, it demonstrates the fun we can have with poetry while dealing with math, the sciences or many other subjects not often associated with poetry. It is perfect for children and delightful for adults, reminiscent of work by Richard Wilbur and Shel Silverstein. Good company indeed!” – Erica Fitz Mears of the Delaware Press Club