​​​Miriam E.Tucker

(No-Sugar Added Poetry, 2010)  

“This morning you are Three Hundred Ten.”
But I am not my number, I protest in vain
My overburdened blood has betrayed Me yet again,
Readily proffering microscopic remnants
Of prior defiant indulgence.
She quaffs this evidence with a thirst as fierce as my own.  

Duly humbled and chagrined, 
I puncture myself to make amends
Desperately begging forgiveness
I am not my number, but I am her supplicant:
Please Mistress, another chance.

With threats of physical destruction 
For noncompliance
She restricts my nourishment 
Toils Me to exhaustion
Such classic modi of cruel oppressors!

 “This evening you are Ninety-Two.”
Ahh! Sometimes She seems benevolent and kind.
Her caresses so soothing, I must remember
That even a benign number is not the sum of Me 
And She cannot be trusted.

 My intimate nemesis 
My deranged captor 
My Geppetto, yanking strings
Her power derives from knowing 
That neither is her victim without sin.  

In my dream, a gleaming white-clad Savior slays Her.
My fellow slaves and I assemble
The small paper strips that expose our numbers
Set them afire and burn Her in effigy
We eat and drink and laugh and sing
And proclaim our rightful names. ###