I have read there is a tribe living in the mountains
and lakes of Patagonia who can barely count beyond five,
yet have a language so precise there is a word for;
the curious experience of unexpectedly discovering
something spherical and precious in your mouth,
formed perhaps by grit finding its way into the shellfish
(such as an oyster) you have just eaten.
Or something like that. I identify with this conceptual position.
And as I listen to my children debate on the train
as to which is the greater – googolplex or infinity –
whilst knowing they still struggle with their 4 times table,
I can’t help but reflect that maybe we should be
on a small canoe at great altitude, trailing
our semantic home spun nets behind instead.
Emma McKervey studied at Dartington College of Arts. Her work has been included in numerous journals and anthologies, including the Honest Ulsterman and The Emma Press’s Urban Myths and Legends. She is a contributor to the Australian based Project 365 +1 project and reads regularly, most recently in Westminster Reference Library.