(My apologies to Edgar Allan Poe)
Once upon a midnight dreary as I struggled, weak and weary,
over a changed Form 1040 I had never seen before.
Back and forth I did the sums, looking for deduction crumbs,
hoping, ever hoping that I’d find a way to score.
But, alas, twas not my lot to escape an awful blot
upon my worldly fortune, Uncle Sam keeps wanting more.
My mind grows dim with sorrow; the due date is tomorrow,
and I must find the answer else I’ll end up very poor.
Can I deduct those gambling debts resulting from my stupid bets?
Should I try to itemize my bar bill from the club?
What about my one contribution, will that not bring absolution?
Surely I can claim deduction for the new pants that I tore.
Alas tis midnight past, and the time is flying fast, and I must find an answer
to the question: How much more?
You may think my answer funny: I’ll just send them all my money,
and request that they return to me all that not spent before.
It is now six months gone by, and as yet there’s no reply,
Could it be that Uncle Sam will grant me no succor?
Then the Raven came rapping, rapping
the Raven came rapping, tapping at my window door.
Oh to be so doubly blessed, a messenger from the IRS!
Surely he has come to tell me that my problems are no more.
And I said “Oh bird austere, do you bring me news of cheer?
If you brought to me a refund, then together we will soar.
I am down to bread and beans, for I do not have the means
to buy a decent meal. Tell me, Raven
am I affluent, as I was in days of yore?
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore!”