We used to sing a song
About being able to hear the whistle blow
100 miles away from home.
We never walked far enough to find out for ourselves.
But we did learn our division.
From 100 we divided by 10
And got the dimes and the 10 of a diamond’s hardness
And lives, 10 years in the making.
Broken down, divided again.
A separation of into smaller parts.
Spread out on the tabletop,
we got gray nickels,
apatite on the hardness scale.
That much we thought we could manage.
But we divided again,
this time with a finer grinding.
Now we have what’s left.
The glint, if not the stone.