By Geli Juani
A statistic is lumped with the rest
the face erased, the name forgotten
a mere data point to make a point.
A statistic is maybe in the pool
of those who lost their jobs,
who is considered non-poor,
who is a college graduate,
or who is a confirmed case.
A statistic is used to craft
a correlation, an intervention.
A statistic is part of a sum,
an aggregation, a transformation.
Will be wrangled, will be crunched,
dissected and shown in a graph.
A statistic is a tiny blue dot in
the scatterplot near the trend line.
Isn’t it nice to be in the conclusion,
as expected, in line with the trend.
To the question there is a solution,
to the experiment there is a fruition.
But zoom in to see the outliers,
hardheaded and nonconformists,
see the drop-outs, the censored,
the nonresponders, the little rebels.
The general picture turns foggy,
a can of worms opens, bugs emerge.
The power of the tests examined,
definitions and limitations checked,
standards and techniques reviewed.
If a statistic ends up not as useful,
then this is the sadness of a statistic
who wears no face, who bears no name.