Photograph by Dan Vera

by Kim Roberts

I was never good at math
but I understood

the heavy burden
when a number was left over:

you had to carry it,
the weight bending your frame

until your whole body formed
a less-than sign.

(“Long Division” was originally published in Prime Number and is reprinted here today with permission from the poet.)

Kim Roberts just published her third book of poems, Animal Magnetism, winner of the Pearl Poetry Prize (Pearl Editions, January 2011). She is editor of the online journal Beltway Poetry Quarterly and the print anthology Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC (Plan B Press, 2010).

Editor’s Note: Today’s poem exemplifies the efficient beauty of simplicity. Using few words in four brief stanzas, Ms. Roberts clearly conveys her message as effectively as she might have in a more verbose poem, perhaps more so. Tackling a concept as large as the heavy weight of burden one carries in life, this poem masterfully takes metaphor by the reigns, leaving the reader thinking of much more than math, “the weight bending your frame.”

Want to read more by and about Kim Roberts?
Kim Roberts Official Website

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