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Brambles wind through the fence
intertwine with the clematis.
As I clip and tug at the blackberry vine
a neighbor says pull the root three times—
they get the message and don't come back.

I wonder how he knows this,
what else he knows
of how to apply
this knowledge of three,
the magic number, holy number,
primordial triangle,
a perfect figure,
the smallest prime number.

Three cheers,
three wishes,
the basis for any joke—
a minister, a priest, and a rabbi walk into a bar.

Third times a charm,
a three ring circus,

There were three ravens sat on a tree,
Three bears,
three pigs,
and extinct,
the trilobite and triceratops.

Three, the atomic number of Lithium,
the 33rd most common element on earth.
Why, then for bipolarity?
Why are there two genders,
four seasons?

When I say three, everybody pull.

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Theresa McLaren

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