They Promised Us robots

by Albert Semple, 01/02/2024

  1. I'm old enough to remember
  2. When people talked of this time
  3. As "The Future".

  4. Robots would undertake manual labour:
  5. They would clean our houses;
  6. Drive our cars;
  7. Care for our children;
  8. Walk our pets.

  9.  But today a robot asked me
  10.  To press one to make a new reservation,
  11.  Or two for an existing reservation,
  12.  Or three for technical support.

  13. Cars would fly.
  14. The robots would do the dirty work,
  15. Leaving us more leisure time
  16. For recreation, sport,
  17. Or creative arts.

  18.  But today's robot tells me to enter my account number
  19.  Followed by the hash or pound sign,
  20.  Or hold to talk to an operator.

  21. Robotic labour would create
  22. Such an abundance of resources,
  23. That there would be no need for war,
  24. And a universal level of comfort
  25. For all global citizens.

  26.  But today's robot tells me
  27.  They are currently facing a high volume of calls,
  28.  And reduced staffing levels,
  29.  And that it may take longer than usual to answer my call.

  30. They promised us robots,
  31. And we were all swept along
  32. With optimism for what that would mean.

by Albert Semple
32 lines over 8 stanzas.