Spools of odd and even numbers knot
tightly around my fingers.
Fractions like hieroglyphs
people the tethered pages
of my grade school days.
At the hub of our long-winded kitchen,
turquoise table on a checkerboard
floor. Mother slices red apples on a pine wood
board: “How many quarters,”
she quizzes, “make up one apple?”
I stare blankly till the apple browns,
its juice runs dry.
“Four,” baby sister chimes,
moon on her left,
sun on her right.
“Each slice is one-quarter.”