The Number 9 Poem

By Jim Yerman

While waiting for Bryan at the airport I felt glad to be alive
As I watched two young girls wait expectantly for their grandma to arrive.

Their parents tried to calm them, but their attempts were all in vain
As the girls jumped and bounced and ran around…waiting for grandma to deplane.

I started counting the people as they exited (since they walked out in a line)
And Grandma, coincidently, came through the door at number 9.

9 has had a particular significance dating from the days of Egyptian sheiks
Stretching back to the times of the Aztecs, the Chinese and the Greeks.

The Chinese have a word for everlasting but somehow in their grand design
That word is pronounced the same as their word for the number 9.

So to symbolize everlasting love they give 99 flowers on Valentine’s Day
The groom gives a note filled with 9’s to the bride’s family on their wedding day.

But perhaps the most significant aspect of the Chinese number nine
It’s used to remind them how the lives of their ancestors and theirs are intertwined.

9 reminds them of the those who came before…and made it possible for them to thrive
It reminds them of the miracle of life and how they’re lucky to be alive.

If one ancestor chose a different spouse, took a different path or made a different call
They know there is a good chance they would not be here at all.

Do Americans believe in the number 9…does it hold that same allure?
If you asked I imagine many of us would be hesitant or unsure.

We don’t believe in all that mystical mumbo jumbo…that Eastern philosophy.
Over here we believe in things we can feel and hear and touch and see…

Yet, I know the girls were feeling ‘on cloud 9’…their faces were agleam.
There are 9 Supreme court justices…and 9 players on a baseball team…

As I was deep in this contemplation, a pregnant woman exited the line…
And how many months in a normal pregnancy…Oh yea! …that would be 9.

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