# Decimals and Fractions

Today I was reading about decimals and fractions during my commercial break and realized how ‘stale’ I had become mathematically. I’ve never been one gifted at numerals but I know how to count my money. I am actually so bad at numbers I can only count beyond 100 in my father tongue. Knowing my limitations, I surround myself with calculators and converters while I restrict my knowledge to text.

I am reading that ‘fractions and decimals represent the same things: numbers that are not whole numbers.’ Now what’s that? Isn’t it like calling babies people but not whole people?

Anyhow, poetry saves the day. I’ve only come to read about fractions because a friend of mine asked me to write him a poem and the first line that flashed through my mind was: ‘we are not dealing with fractions.’ Fractions have their place in the classroom just like the poem I’ve written here for my friend has its context in a place called elsewhere.

We are not dealing with fractions

We left fractions in the classroom

Poetry too

But not the poem

We started out halves, then wholes

Like numbers

Compound

Now we are even

Prime too

But not fractional

We left fractions behind

When the poem found us the denominator

Designating decimals to determine

Each exponential expression

We’ve solved the equation and

Come to the value of variables

Separated by an equal sign:

Practical math like counting

A-one, a-two, a-three, a-four

Like converting dollars into shillings

Pounds into francs

Consumer math—simple interest

Unit price with or without tax

Total estimate—

Love.

### One Response to Decimals and Fractions

1. Verse in reply February 1, 2009 at 10:44 pm #

Love by the numbers

When we stop counting
and start remembering
it was over
the moment we started counting

1 plus 1
1 times 1
1 minus 1
and/or/furthermore

positives, negatives, cubed, rooted square
and otherwise
whole, fractional,
real
unreal
rational, irrational

lesser
and greater
infinities

theorems
of incompleteness

take it all (all)
and then
divide by zero

which we can’t do
which is where
we started

our nothings first separated
then shared
negated

you, me

now

us, we

love
by the numbers

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