Counting The Days by Gareth Culshaw

He walks around with a calculator on his head
balances numbers that he learns in school.
His father tells him to use velcro to keep it on.

At night he does sums before he goes to bed.
Counts how many stars he can see from his bedroom
window, then multiplies them by his friends.

His father tells him to add up the shopping trolley
as they go around Asda. Subtract the price
from how many steps they have made in the store.

He once added up all the veg on the families plates
at Christmas dinner. Rumour has it it was seventy-two.
There’s a sum he does every Monday morning,

and this gives him the days since his mother died.


Gareth lives in Wales. His first collection came out in 2018 by Futurecycle called The Miner. In 2020, his second collection, A Bards View is released. He is an MFA student at Manchester Met. Also nominated for Best of the Net.


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