The accountant played numbers all day.
“They speak to me,” he said, like butterflies alighting,
all plus-ed and minus-ed and multiplied and divided
on the adding machine, figures fluttered across ticker tape.
The mating call of crickets on a hot summer day,
his tapered fingers tapped on numbered keys till twilight,
they sang of a forever love affair like cicadas chirping,
except numbers turned red like backyard bonfires, dead leaves,
checks bounced, the car broke down,
groceries only minus-ed; a birthday, anniversaries,
calendar numbers that did not calculate across, only up.
Numbers punched on keys
like punching children
hard, mechanical, rhythmic.
—from Rattle #71, Spring 2021
Tribute to Neurodiversity
Julianne Di Nenna: “Writing poetry has been a channel to help calm anxiety and manage dyslexia. Expressing emotions through the written word helps bring clarity and precision to ideas that just don’t seem to stop wanting to bounce off the walls.”