The primes,

through times,

mystified

those who pried.

One fact answers why

they’re simple yet sly:

Layers of abstraction yield

complex forms when pierced and peeled.

Addition lies under multiplication,

defining him as repeated summation.

Then he defines primes as the atoms of integers,

for when multiplied, they give numbers their signatures.

But when we breach the layer between these two distinct operations,

asking about how primes add and subtract, there are endless frustrations.

Even innocuous questions, “what are all their sums?”, or “how often do they differ by two?”,

stump everyone who has ever lived, with progress made only quite recently by just a few.

However, to recruit for and progress math we need to have such questions which can be phrased simply and remain unsolved.

What child does not hear such conjectures and dream, if only for a moment, that they will be the one to see them resolved?

For otherwise the once vigorous curiosity of a child towards math’s patterns, as they grow older, tends to grow tame,

just as the rhyme and rhythm of the primes seems to fade as numbers grow, though in both the underlying patterns remain the same.