A poem about having more than the usual fingers

08 Oct

Standards in the classroom

When I learned that the gene for six fingers per hand is dominant,
I thought about all the children who, in infancy and in secret,
Had had two of their twelve fingers cut off
so they could be normal.

Five fingers plus five equals ten —
the basis of the decimal system and Arabic numerals
and Metric, all very clear-cut.

But why not let twelve digits be the norm
and count in dozens?
(Could it be that the dozens we do count
are because of dozens of fingers in some baker clan?)

Or, some could have theirs amputated at the knuckles
and count by fractions.
The teacher would say, “My aren’t they sharp!”
and divide the class into sections
so they could teach their five-fingered friends
(who would wear prostheses to get a slice of the action).

This would be better than listening to the dull teacher
as she lay equations on the board
and told everyone to do their exercises,



Posted by on October 8, 2017 in Arts, Poetry and Music


Tags: ,

2 responses to “A poem about having more than the usual fingers

  1. jdawgsrunningblog

    October 9, 2017 at 5:16 am

    always appreciate the edge and wit you bring to the subject–this one particularly so–the tone a mix of scientific dissertation and biting sarcasm borne out of heart-felt frustration.


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