I don’t recall
when I first began to count –
back when I learned my “one, two, threes” –
pronouncing them and pointing here and there
and getting praise – at least I hope I did.

The number words became a part of life —
arithmetic a piece of school.

After the beginning, naming the big numbers
became as easy as “abc”:
a million, a trillion – all enhanced by zeros.

I’m not sure if the next entity is a zillion. – I think so.

Such numbers are related to our national debt
and to the number of stars in the sky.

The debt will likely pass the stars some day.

Sometimes I resort to counting sheep
when sleep avoids me.

But I avoid
those quantities I just can’t grasp.

Russ Peery Aug 2018

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