August 25th, 2006

ozarque figure

Linguistics; stylistics; sf poetry being made; round three...

Every now and then in this journal we work on a science fiction poem; to read the posts for rounds one and two, go to .

[no title yet; here's my third draft]

You know how it is....
Mother gets old, and there are things that she can't do;
she has trouble getting up and dressing in the mornings;
she has trouble changing lightbulbs.
Dad gets old; he has the same kinds of problems.
You know how it is.
And you know how we deal with it.

You go to, and you order an elder-robot.
It gets delivered.
And from then on,
it does the things your elder has trouble doing.
That solves the problem.
But what were we thinking?

I take that back; I do know what we were thinking.
We were thinking that we didn't want Mother and Dad to be afraid
of the DearCompanions.
And so the company was careful to make them look
a lot like people.
It was easy enough.
A woman-wig on Mother's robot;
a man-wig on Dad's.
The lower half of Mother's robot skirt-shaped
and painted a nice gingham;
the lower half of Dad's robot straight up and down
and painted a nice blue pinstripe.

Well. Machines wear out. Things break. Things fray.
Things stop working properly.
And the time came -- take my own case, for example --
when Mama's robot needed to be replaced.
But when we told her so, she was completely irrational.
"Replace JANE?" she cried. "Just because she's getting OLD?"
We tried saying Jane was just a machine.
And of course you know how that went over,
because it happened to you too.
"You will NOT replace Jane!" Mama told us.
Yelled at us, actually.
"You will NOT! You will get someone to HELP her!
And you will STOP calling Jane IT!"

This time, we were much more careful.
When DearCompanion designed and constructed the Assistant Robot line,
they made every one of the units look
exactly like a broom.