The census is coming |

The census is coming

It’s been 10 years and time has marched on. Which means next year in 2020 ­we’re all going to be counted to make sure we’re still alive somewhere on the planet. Once again, we’ll fill out forms, answer questions and try to remember stuff we haven’t thought about in a decade.

Back then, I did my duty. I answered the questions, filled in the blanks on the forms (mostly told the truth) and now I’m officially counted as alive and living on the planet. Ten years back I penned a poem about the subject of census-taking. It’s still relevant today especially in light of the current and escalating brouhaha about which humans are worthy of being counted and taxed.

Have You Been Counted, Labeled, and Tallied?

When it’s census time again my friend,


Counting me and thee

They’ve a list of nosy questions,

One or two or three.

A herd of fresh-hired scribblers

In rain or snow or sun.

Will travel every trail and byway

Not missing anyone.

What have I earned in the last 12 months?

In working rancher’s time?

A question I truly cannot measure

Since I won’t have made a dime!

And have I dwelt here all alone?

Or are there others too?

I’ll tell them I’m a widow woman

And I do what I can do.

They’ll want to know my background,

Have I attended school?

Do I speak a different language?

From a special ethnic pool?

Do I have an indoor toilet?

Or just an outhouse stall?

Is my house a fancy condo?

Or a tent against a wall?

Do I drive a car or pickup?

Do I have a telephone?

Do I know how many people?

Are living in my home?

Do I have a yearly mortgage?

Do I own or rent or hire?

Do I have some good insurance?

For hazards, flood or fire?

Census takers say it’s private,

(This knowledge that they seek);

But it all goes into computers

Where government can peek!

Next year is census time once more

Here they’ll come again,

The census-takers with their clipboards

To count how I have been.

I’ll be counted and dissected

But, I won’t even cuss!

I’ll do a random act of kindness

Before I bite the dust!

As they toil away, asking questions,

Gathering up the facts,

I’ll make their day, invite them in!

Tell them to relax!

I’ll welcome each one quite politely

And praise them with loud cheers!

I’ll serve each taker with some cake

And a few cold beers! ❖