‘Reliable as death,’ thoughts on tax day by Colorado Matters’ resident poet

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<p>(Courtesy David J. Rothman)</p>

Today is tax day -- the deadline for Americans to file with the Internal Revenue Service. Colorado Matters' resident poet, David J. Rothman, offers these thoughts.

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city - Luke 2:3

When it comes to money, everyone learns
Sooner or later that there is theory, and there is praxis.
Everyone spends, everyone earns,
And then there is the cold hard fact of taxes.

They’re for the common good. You know it’s true.
To pave the streets! In case someone attacks us!
To make sure little children can construe!
So surely you’ll agree to pay your taxes.

After all, we’re represented now.
The government spins on our tilted axis.
Yes, our hard work is its cash cow…
But we brought this on ourselves, so pay your taxes.

And though it seems there’s less of everything
To go around these days and soon the axe is
Bound to fall, I say give thanks and sing!
It’s April 15! Time to pay your taxes!

Why resist what you should not avoid?
It’s not as though you have to kiss a cactus.
It’s not as though your kidney’s been destroyed
By slimy zombie microbes. They’re just taxes,

Ubiquitous as sex, reliable as death…
Though not the same as death, for what death lacks is
A budget. Rage; take your last breath;
That’s it. It just doesn’t add up. But taxes? –

We have receipts! Pay stubs! Checkbooks and dollars,
Credit card statements, signatures and faxes!
Incomprehensible accountants, scholars
Who at least can be proved wrong. Yes, taxes

Are unpleasant but do make sense. Unlike dying,
We can always discover what the facts is,
Even when a lot of folks are lying.
Of course, not you. You pay your taxes.

I know your payday wanes more than it waxes;
I know your credit cards are at their maxes;
I know that times are tough and there’s no prophylaxis;
But you can’t escape with an “Abracadabra!” or “Abraxas!
And I know that this is not a wisdom that relaxes.

But it is not a causus belli – it’s what pax is.
So give thanks you get to send that check.
Do not grieve: rejoice and measure.
This ship is our ship of state. All hands on deck.
Then change the law, if that’s your pleasure.
But for now: pony up and pay your taxes.