“…a truly marvelous proof…” —Fermat
Sorbonne professor, Royal Society Fellow,
doyenne with chalk poised like a cigarette,
she strode onstage to wild applause at lectures
and played the chalkboard like a violincello.
She knocked off Theorems, nailed down Conjectures
(some of which hadn’t been Conjectured yet),
earned endowed chairs and Erdös number 3,
and, in spare moments, tried to tutor me.
Lounging in bed one night we wrote a paper
touching upon the cosmological constant.
—She did, I mean. I was her faithful helper:
polishing notes, smiling with satellite glow,
technically earning Erdös number 4,
riding a surge of insight for one instant
before it merged into the cosmic flow…
Jotting vague margin comments. Promising more.