An interesting idea from my Plan II math textbook, “Mathematics, the New Golden Age,” by Keith Devlin–
A basic mathematical abstraction is that of numbers… By a process that seems almost miraculous when you come to think about it, all small children come to recognize that a collection of three apples, a collection of three uncles, a collection of three flowers, all have something in common… What makes this seem miraculous is that there is not anything in the world that is the number three… (And you will realize just how abstract the concept is if you try to explain what the number three is without using the word three or threeness.) p 38-39
The socks in the bottom of my drawer who have no partners.
Cups of coffee I require in the morning.
Not enough tires on my car.
Too many tires on my bicycle.
How often I set off the smoke alarm every week.
How many hours after midnight my roommate’s cat performs opera.
How many times my roommate’s cat has fallen off furniture since I started writing this poem.
My roommate’s cat’s IQ.
An inconvenient set of place mats.