If a lion could talk, we could not understand him.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein
If poets and statisticians ate
together, would their talk make sense?
What figures and what facts could they
summon up then as they spoke?
What heart would lie within each number?
How might every number lie?
The trends we graph are true, yet heart
defies the lines we fit to it.
The story of a pie-chart’s clear
yet has no start, no middle, end,
and all the beauty of a sonnet
makes no single world of sense.
A lion speaks; a tree falls deaf.
Perhaps we are condemned to fail
when sides cannot convert their ears
to hear another’s tongue.