The Census Taker

The Census Taker

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

He seemed to wander from house to house

A clip-pad in his hand,

The pen he carried was dredged from the Ark

Or was found in No-Man’s-Land,

His beard trailed down and waved in the breeze

He was like an ancient scribe,

He looked like a flinty prophet from

Some wretched Biblical tribe.

 

I watched as he entered each garden gate

That swung on a rusty hinge,

Each creaked awake like a drunk, up late

After a late night binge,

He’d knock just once on each door, then wait

And visibly count to ten,

If nobody answered the door, he’d turn,

He just wouldn’t knock again.

 

Then out in the street he’d shake his head

And cross a line from his list,

There seemed so many that he’d crossed out,

There wasn’t a house he’d missed,

But nobody seemed to be up and about

On that misty Sunday morn,

I’d only got up when the sun peeped in

To fetch in the milk at dawn.

 

He came so slowly in through my gate

Then saw I was standing there,

He raised one eyebrow, up with its mate

And took in my morning stare,

‘What do you think of life,’ he said,

‘Do you think it’s been worthwhile?’

‘It beats to death the alternative,’

I said, with a sickly smile.

 

‘This isn’t a joke,’ he said to me,

‘There are thousands going to be saved,

But only a hundred and forty-four,

The other choice is the grave!’

I saw my name on his clip-pad then,

The final name on his list,

‘What about all my neighbours here?’

‘They’ve all been dispossessed!’

 

‘We’ve only room for a single soul,

And the ledger will be full,

It’s not our fault that you bred like pigs

But the time has come to cull.

The planet’s groaning under your weight

We’re clearing it out tonight;

What will it be, are you one of us,

Or shall I snuff out your light?’

 

I woke up then in a sweat, and thought

It was just a crazy dream,

It couldn’t be happening yet, although,

Nothing is what it seems!

I heard a knock at our old front door,

Leapt up, and grabbed for my gown:

‘Don’t you be turning your back on me,’

I yelled - ‘What’s going down?’

 

David Lewis Paget

© 2013 David Lewis Paget


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Featured Review

You do this with most of your work but I probably haven't said it - you hook the reader with that first stanza - sometimes you build - sometimes you remain consistent but always the first stanza is BRILLIANT and grabs me right away - this one was especially strong.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

You do this with most of your work but I probably haven't said it - you hook the reader with that first stanza - sometimes you build - sometimes you remain consistent but always the first stanza is BRILLIANT and grabs me right away - this one was especially strong.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Such a fanciful journey down the road of possibilities with drama and scares to spare. I really enjoyed this piece. Most especially the lyrical lines...
"I watched as he entered each garden gate
That swung on a rusty hinge,
Each creaked awake like a drunk, up late
After a late night binge,..."
I could almost smell his "Day After Breath" Poetic Mastery Sir

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Great story! Loved the theme! ;+)

Posted 11 Years Ago


A message that one gives many times in ones life, well done, good read.

Posted 11 Years Ago


Someone was telling him to set his life straight I reckon. I loved the fact that he was knocking on doors on the Lords day and no one answered. Were they abed instead at church I have to wonder? Great story. I would have never thought about Heaven having a maximum capacity. LOL

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dreams often carry a kernal of truth...in part I agree with Tate...but I sometimes wonder if a dreams sees a future we do not...

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

David, got you on the other site,,but reading again..just as funny..Kathie

Posted 11 Years Ago


lol That had me laughing How many times have we had a bad dream only to find it was rooted in some truth. i wonder if our dreams are just an extension of our realities?By that i mean the mind trying to make sense of what it sees each day by dreaming of it at night

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

this is quite possibly the only thing that would be worse than answering the door to find two Jehovah's witnesses....a harbinger of fate whose message may be real....awesome write....

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Hmm?? A little poem about the day of reckoning I believe. Correct me if I'm wrong. Not matter what the subject is...I am always amazed at the rhythm of your poems. :-)

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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10 Reviews
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Added on March 18, 2013
Last Updated on March 18, 2013
Tags: scribe, prophet, list, saved

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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