Turns of the crank to open the window wide, 17
Steps trough the meadow up to the main house, 785
Shovels of gravel into the wheelbarrow, 14.
Sometimes I just count, but don’t do the sum:
The number of birds on the line
Paces between telephone poles
During a country stroll
Chops to dice six carrots
The running total since I last time I …
Seems like the counting is often up,
Enumerating and accumulating some sort of wealth;
Like the number of whales I have seen or
The women I have loved.
Seldom do I count down,
Days until done…
Seconds until launch
Biscuits left in the bowl.
But mostly it is a habit;
Keeping a rhythm, a pace
Noting the pulsing of my metronome
Secretly reckoning my moments
Computing the comings and goings.
I wonder if I move my lips
Or even whisper aloud
And give away my tally?
I wonder if there are others
Perhaps too numerous to score
Keeping their own secret ledgers?