The Machines Mourn the Passing of People
miss the warmth of their clumsy hands,
oil of their fingers, the cleansing of use
warded off dust, and the warm abuse
upon us as reprimands.
were kicked like dogs when we were broken,
we did not whimper. We gritted our cogsó
honor it was to be treated as dogs,
incur such warm words roughly spoken,
way that they pleaded with us if we balkedó
on, come on" in a hoarse whisper
they would urge a reluctant loveró
feel of their warm breath when they talked!
could we guess they would ever be gone?
are shorn now of tasks, and the lovely workó
toiling, not spinningólike lilies that shirkó
the brash dandelions that savage the lawn.
air now is silent of curses or praise.
abandoned to hells of what weather,
to our own devices forever,
watch the sun rust at the end of its days.
© Alicia E. Stallings. From Archaic Smile,
Evansville Press; originally printed in Light;
by permission of the author.