Sacred Numerology – a poem by Jean Biegun

Sacred Numerology 

My sister points at a passing van
with Faith Technologies printed on its side.
Make a good tattoo she comments and bets me
that 40 percent of folks under 40 get tattoos
these days.
  
She likes her Biblical numbers and preaches
to me on three fingers that 40 is holy—
for 40 years the Israelites wandered the wilderness,
for 40 days Jesus fasted and fought temptation,
for 40 nights Noah waited and watched it rain.

She’s turning 70 soon.  Nothing special
about 70, nothing prophetic or even
mandala-worthy. 
Only the numerical answer to the problem
how many times must we forgive
the ones who did us wrong.  70 times 7
I remember from my Bible School days.
 
She kids she might get a tattoo for her birthday—
Faith Technologies in bold letters needled
on her back to testify, like the van,
that handy tools are inside
(and she gestures fist to chest)
for fixing her years of wear and tear.

Jean Biegun, retired in Sacramento, CA, began writing poetry in 2000 as a way to overcome big-city job stress, and it worked.  Poems have been published in Mobius: The Poetry MagazineAfter Hours: A Journal of Chicago Writing and ArtWorld Haiku ReviewPresence: International Journal of Spiritual Direction and other places.

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