Gerry Boland “The Secret Lives of Mothers”

The Secret Lives of Mothers

I am the artist who mixes up colour
I am the clouds that make the day duller

I am the match that lights forest fires
I am the church that puts up with bad choirs

I am the photo and look, you’re in it!
I am the clockmaker who hasn’t a minute

I am the bottle that is full of water
I am the son of my grandfather’s daughter

I am the window that looks out on the garden
I am the jelly that refuses to harden

I am the wanderer who is destined to roam
I am the last line of this poem.

Numbers are for adding, subtraction and division;
To write a poem about numbers is a next-to-impossible mission!
99 is my house number
It’s also an ice-cream cone –
Add a 9 and what do you have?
A squad car outside your home!

When your dart hits the bull
You score a deadly 50 –
Do the same with three in a row
That, my friend, is nifty.

For those who are superstitious
The 1 plus 12 is the worst
And when it falls on Friday
They know their day is cursed.

I’ve always liked the number 10
The nought’s so round and neat
It’s got that something special
That makes it seem complete.

Another number that I like
Is the number 7
It’s handy in a poem like this
As it rhymes with 11.

The best of all the numbers
Is the number 3 –
When I see it on the classroom clock
I know at last I’m free!