The Empassioned Statistician

The Empassioned Statistician

by Eveline Pye

War-like as the robin, territorial, blooded,
her reputation bleached pencil-pale
to create a sweet-sounding nightingale,
an icon of care in the carnage of Crimea.

No milksop angel offering only
deathbed solace, Longfellow’s lady
of the lamp sat in the glimmering gloom
classifying the dead, drawing up tables.

The robin’s song is not loud, it has no
fancy trills and whistles; Florence
talked the simple truth of numbers.
Statistics saved a legion of soldiers.