Beep

Our new automatic rice
cooker sings to us when
we turn it on.
Our dishwasher sings
when it turns off.

The clothes dryer
declaims in a voice that is
decidedly more aggressive.
It points a gun at our head, and
demands to be emptied. Now.
The laptop, a real free spirit,
chortles all day long for
any number of reasons.

But it is the car I hate,
The car that reminds me of
a wife left behind years ago.
It nags and nags and nags,
with buzzes, beeps and dings,
apprising me of my failures.

Forgetting to latch
my safety belt. Not shutting
the door all the way. Over-
looking an overdue oil change.

It especially loves to let me know
(with an unmistakable glee) , that
I’ve been driving quite long enough
with my turn signal going, all
the other drivers having
already called me an idiot.

I don’t mind the chirps that
tell me I am about to be run
down by a truck backing up,
Or the one that clicks to tell
blind people that they can
now safely cross the street.

Even my new hearing aids,
that make it possible for me
to hear all the other electronic things
that niggle and afflict me, feel
they must bleat their tiny melody
straight into my ear when their
battery is about to die.

If they did not, I might not
ever hear all the other beeps,
and jingles and cheerful tinkles.
Would that not be tragically delicious,
especially when served up with
gloppy overcooked rice?

by Daniel Thomas Moran

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