Pi / pie

Had they explained it to me in math class
using the circular plate, pressed in a crust
and prettily fluted the edges, added a filling

tempting to taste buds—apple, cherry,
any kind of berry, pumpkin—but not mince,
never mince—then baked it to a gentle bubble,

I might have understood or at least gotten
a glimmer of the miracle of mathematics.
But being told that pi is the ratio of a circle’s

circumference to its diameter made no sense
to my teenage brain. It was all I could do
to remember its first five digits—3.1415.

They held no meaning for me—I could not
taste, touch, feel those symbols. But pie, I
could understand—Grandma’s cinnamon-y apple

with its lattice-top crust. A small Chinese man
walking through his restaurant with his
banana cream (a recipe, he teased, that he

brought with him from China).
A man I loved fork-feeding me bits
of cherry pie he’d made from scratch.

Pie, it turns out, is love in all its infinite forms.
Numerical or baked, it is a constant. It is both
irrational and transcendental, and, I have

learned, this miracle of numbers and dough
and filling continues, without repetition
or pattern—on and on and on, ad infinitum,


Hula pie and me, Sunnyside, Lake Tahoe / Photo: Dick Schmidt

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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2 Responses to Pi / pie

  1. shaunasmith says:

    Yummy mathematics. 💕

    Warmly,ShaunaSent from my iPhone


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  2. Gloria Beverage says:

    Woman, you’re a bad influence! While math was challenging, I have no trouble eating pie. Going to buy some!!

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