Math Problem with a River

By Hua Xi

This poem is based on the classic river crossing math problem: A farmer with a wolf, a goat and a cabbage must cross a river by goat. The boat can carry only the farmer and a single item. If left unattended together, the wolf would eat the goat, or the goat would eat the cabbage. How can they cross the river without anything being eaten?

Headshot of Hua Xi

Hua Xi (she/they) is a poet and artist. They are currently a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford. Their poems have appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, The Atlantic, and elsewhere.

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