Impossible (in Hungarian)

One could only count up to six
in the original Finno-Ugric, a concept
that, over the phone, bristles
my statistician mother, convinced
as she is, of the mathematical capabilities
of her tongue. She cites such proof
as Professor Rubik’s six-sided cube
with its nine squares per face
and 43 quintillion
combinations (though resolvable
in twenty turns). But now
I have eroded the probability
(and inevitability)
of its invention down to P < 0.05
through my philological meanderings;
by uncovering
the pre-decimal incongruence
of our fur-clad forebears,
and inferring our ancestral
contentment with less.

Helen Thurloe


Helen Thurloe is a Sydney writer. Her poems have won national awards, and appear in several anthologies. Her first novel, Promising Azra, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2016.

© 2019