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Problem Solving

Walking down the street, I met a problem.
The mother of all problems.
No, the grandmother of all problems.
Maternity squared, with a handbag.
A big one.

First, I tried to go around the problem.
Then over it,
then under it,
through it,
but the problem wasn’t a bear hunt, or indeed a bear.
It was a problem.

I tried to avoid the problem.
I bribed it with chocolate, dressed up as a policeman, a nun,
Scooby Doo. I split up to search for clues.
I put on a fake moustache and sunglasses,
and pretended to be a Jehovah’s Witness.

I threw rocks at the problem.

I tried appealing it to its better nature,
tried telling it that it had left the oven on,
that it’s refrigerator was running, and it had better catch it.
I tried begging, pleading, prodding it with a really sharp stick.

I took the problem out to the cinema, out to a candlelit restaurant,
home to meet my parents, on a honeymoon to Spain,
to court. But the problem overruled.

I promised to spend more time with the problem,
promised it that things could still work between us,
told the problem to go to hell, to Milton Keynes,
to get out more,

I pushed the problem under a bus.

I dropped weights on it. An elephant,
a rhinoceros, a hippo,
a million million million tonnes.

I told the problem it had won the lottery, an iPad,
a free holiday to Barbados, to Las Vegas,
to the Moon.

I gave the problem every waking hour of every waking day,
and then I tried solving it.

Lewis Brown

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