April poetry, day 3

The Problem with 3

3 doesn’t know it’s overexposed.
Just look at it, mugging for the camera,
mouth open, ready to devour 1 and 2.

3 insinuates itself into crowds –
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Father,
the Son, the Holy Ghost, the Fates,

the Furies, the Graces, the hearts
of a squid, the pieces of a suit,
the beginning, the middle, the end.

3 needs to lie on its back, let another
number take center stage.
With both curves on the floor,

3 could be an adorable derriere,
a waxed-tip moustache, a wave
in the ocean. 3 could be 2 –

2 smiles, 2 chins, a pair of mango
breasts, 2 arms open for company.


Thanks, Carolee, for a great prompt at Read Write Poem. I also combined Carolee’s suggestions with Robert’s prompt at Poetic Asides.

Writing this poem helped me make it through an MRI this morning. I wrote it in my head while the machine droned like a jack hammer outside a window. The MRI is done, I’m fine, and poetry lives on!


13 thoughts on “April poetry, day 3

  1. Michelle says:

    Firstly, I’m so glad you’re okay. Hugs.

    I love these poems you’re writing. They seem so polished for NaMoWriPo poems, which is to say later revision seems unnecessary. This awes me. And ‘The Problem with 3’ is clever. How do you think of these images?

    “the hearts of a squid” – fascinating! I love stuff like this that I learn from poems.


  2. jillypoet says:

    I’m glad, too! More hugs!

    This poem rocks! It is fast and furious. I wonder if the pacing has anything to do with the thumping that I’m told you hear in an MRI? Just as I read “3 needs to lie on its back” I was picturing it then I read “With both curves on the floor.” Awesome! So viual!


  3. Julie says:

    I love it! I love the fantastic rhythm and fun language of the voice. Great images, twists and turns. But my favorite lines are the last two. Awesome poem:)


  4. blythe says:

    I didn’t realize threes could be such trouble! But you’re right — I caught a brown recluse today, and when I was researching them online to be sure that’s what I had, I learned they have three pairs of eyes. Coincidence? I think not!

    Your take on this is so fun and creative. I love the image of three becoming a two, which definitely reminded me of difficult “third wheel” situations, and what a relief it is when the three becomes two. 🙂


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