To Find Out What X Is
"In algebra . . . the important thing is to find out what
x is. It doesn't really matter how you do it."
--Richard P. Feynman
Find x. This is the quest assigned to you:
unearth the factor, show us the unknown--
it may well make no difference how you do
the problem. Is x red or white or blue?
Male? Female? Will we hear x at the tone?
Find x, my love, this quest is up to you.
Is x a whole big bunch or just a few?
Does x play chess? Will x weigh down like stone?
Could it be that it makes a difference what you do
to find x? Does x show up with one left shoe?
Is x in darkness? Must one search alone?
Find x, my love. This quest is made for you.
Will x give love and absolution, too?
Or, barring that, will x let us atone?
Will it make much of a difference if we do?
Is x for Baptists? Hindus? Arabs? Jews?
Did Jesus find it? Hitler? Al Capone?
Find x, my love, the quest is up to you--
it may or may not make a difference how you do.
After the Casseroles
House full of company
“hearts and prayers” follow me.
Now their dead roses are
fringing the lawn.
What did they know of him?
How could they comfort me?
Once we were happy, now
Sharon E. Svendsen has published 13 pieces of fiction, articles, and over 200 poems in literary magazines and many other periodicals and anthologies. Her work has most recently been published in Flash Fiction Magazine, Little Old Lady Comedy, Defenestration, Plainsongs, Rat’s Ass Review, Feathertale #15 and #16. She has a BA in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis from the University of Washington.