vulnerable numbers

recounting
what a number is
and counting coins,
beads stringing
hairs splitting
while counting
years
as many tears
as grains of sand
beneath
ten toes, two heels
between
two soles
bearing
ten fingers, two palms
one soul
sharing
lingers, lingers
on two feet
there recounting
the calm
discounting
chapters numbered,
verses sweet.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is author of Unbecoming American: A War Memoir and also Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..