Fibonacci Spiral, or Why Four Middle Schoolers Are Enough by Sheryl Lain

A Fibonacci spiral follows the sequence 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 11, etc., where each number is the sum of the two numbers before it; pineapples, starfish, sunflower seeds, snail shells, waves of ocean, maybe even the spiral of the galaxy obey this pattern. So does my writing group.

Early in the morning when I enter my quiet classroom,
echoes of crystal-thomas-zach giggle in the shadows,
though I’m the only one here.
Then QuietTrevor steps across the threshold.
Simple arithmetic. One and one is two.
We can hear ourselves think,
until Andy slides around the door, the wiggler
who whirls in his self-made dust devil,
jiggling-leg, fiddling-fingers clawing long hair,
wriggling as though perpetually uncomfortable.
Trevor and I can handle Andy; we add up to three,
but Cassie spins that spiral;
she loves chaos, dropping dripping innuendo,
licking her lips, savoring the flavor of gooey gossip.
Now, simple arithmetic tries to prove our sum equals four;
No.
Adding one more is more than one more.
We number at least five;
and, if we include Coral,
who craves an audience for her comedy—
“Hey, look at me!” as she personifies a light house,
her stocky body turning in a tight circle,
her tongue darting in and out, the likeness of a blinking beacon of light—
she alone equals at least three more people;
too many for a writing group,
too many to share our precious lives.

 

Learn more about Sheryl Lain on our Contributors page

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