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Yellow Pig Day & Prime Number 17 Haiku (T)


Weird that the 17th of July is Yellow Pig Day but even weirder that two Princeton students in the 1960s decided a yellow pig should be the mascot of the prime number 17. The number 17 doesn’t make me think of a yellow pig or even that the first four prime numbers 2 + 3 + 5 + 7 add up to equal 17. For me, the only thing the number 17 conjures up is the time and place I was when I was 17.


When I was 17, I was at a school in Dobbs Ferry, outside of New York City, which was way too far from the cities of New York and Tokyo, where my parents lived. It’s what I remember first though I do also remember the dining tray toboggan slides in the dead of winter that got a few of us in trouble and my Irish Lit class that made me want to write. 17 was when I began to write, stirring in me a haiku in three verses I’d finish decades later:


Places I lived in

Growing up at seventeen

In me forever


Tokyo born New York

Then Singapore Les Charentes

Karuizawa


Dobbs Ferry here now

DC is in the future

Tucson then London


Happy Yellow Pig Day to all mathematicians and Happy Yellow Pig Day recalling where you were at 17!

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