Four Down

Jonathan Someone or Other
Jonathan Someone or Other

Lament (Part IIII)

Yes, I know, you don’t write it like that, you’re supposed to write it as five minus one,
but if we’ve done I, II and III, in the midst of a battle your chance will be gone
by the time you’ve worked out what to subtract from what. They’d not even thought
how to handle minus four, because at that time, there wasn’t a nought.
After five hundred years of keeping account, the Romans knew what counting was about.
They set it all up with a practical skill so that even simple soldiers could work it all out.
It took quite a while of star-gazing and such but then, in the end, the Arabs came past
They’d taken to writing from right to left and this different view gave us nothing at last.

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