That’s what we learned first.
All the other numbers
But not zero.
Even though we could
see how this big round circle
looked like the moon or the sun
or like God’s arms wrapped around us.
But then the full truth came out.
“It’s a place holder,” they said.
If you put it behind one of those
skinny lines called a one,
or behind one of those squiggly others,
it makes it so much bigger.
All by itself
it comes in like a hero and makes
little numbers count for a lot.
And if you bring in a quartet or
a choir of them, watch out,
it might be hard to count that high.
We knew it.
That big round emptiness
so full of potential
so perfect in its simple beauty,
waiting to offer its
value, its full weight,
Ready to lay down next
to them, hold their hands
so together they could
shout and sing and
count for a lot.