## By Degrees

Written by: David Fisher

```September I gazed outside with unease
When I heard it will fall in the sixties.
Then dad said we’ll soon be losing degrees;
To me these things sounded like tragedies.

Why do we have say bye to degrees?
I never knew they were our enemies.
Tell me the truth ‘cause I hate when you tease.

I dreamed degrees were no bigger than fleas
That could saddle up on the backs of bees,
And buzz along in rows of twos and threes
Then vanish amongst the tallest of trees.

Dad replied, you’ll learn it all by degrees,
So I gave up on him and asked Louise
To see if she knew much about degrees.
My sister said they’re in geometry.

She drew a large L, and said this big cheese
Is a right angle; called ninety degrees.
Angles take their shape by connecting these
Points together, denoted with ABC’s.

Right angles were proved by Isosceles,
And two of them are complimentary.
Whatever this had to do with degrees
Was another of life’s big mysteries.

I pictured angles of many degrees
Popping out from books of geometry.
As gulls that appear as a flock of vees
Flying above all of the seven seas.

Sure, hon, she said, see those sugar cookies
They baked at three hundred fifty degrees.

Oh my goodness mom, you say that all these
Are as hot as the sun without a breeze?
Of course not, silly, there only cookies;
They’re made to raise money for charities.

Of course I’d prefer that better than peas.
But anyways, would the universe freeze?
Whether out of cookies, or peas, or cheese?

Since I was still puzzled about degrees
I ran back upstairs, with difficulties.
Knowing my brother was sick with disease,
I crawled in his room on both hands and knees.

Dad was there too, but his face showed worries
Tom’s temp reached over one hundred degrees.
So I touched his forehead, and thought, oh jeez
It would melt bowls of M&M candies.

I imagined if Tom had to sneeze,
Would the juice burn through the land and seas?
And make it all the way to the Chinese;
Would it infect all their towns and cities?

To Dad’s home office I went ill at ease
Going to lower Tom’s hundred degrees?
Dad said don’t worry, he has expertise.

He showed me one of his MD degrees
That you can earn at Universities.
He said if Tom rests and catches some zees
He’ll soon be totally free of disease.