by Tom Noe
I made the thing myself; it was a lark.
I used my name and tiny face to form
An icon I could click for dialing up,
Utilitarian and colorful.
(I figured Whitman would have seen the joke.
“I click myself; I hyperlink myself.”)
Besides, I liked the message I received
Whenever I made contact with the web:
“Tom Noe is connected.” What a rush!
A month ago, I switched to DSL,
So Tom’s been waiting idly on the screen,
Abandoned, though he’s saved his plucky smile.
I’ve tried deleting him a dozen times,
This pixelated image of myself.
I scrape him off. I drag him down, until,
Suspended in the corner of the screen,
He teeters on the brink of nothingness
And blanches with a pale, transparent fear.
He hovers like a sinner in the hand
Of Pastor Edwards’ just and angry God:
“Recycle Bin for you, my mortal man.”
But then a prudent dialogue appears,
To ask me, “Are you sure . . . ?” about this deed?
It’s my decision, either yes or no.
We’ve worked together well, old Tom and I.
He’s surely more dependable than me,
Agreeable, amenable and firm,
And ever-smiling—that’s the major thing
That always makes me think, and think again,
Then pause, and drag him back from the abyss.
I surf on broadband now, and I would hope
I’m more broadminded, too. I let him stay.
Perhaps I’ll give the guy another task.
The window of salvation opens up:
“Is this the thing you really want to do?”
It seems I’m never really sure at all.
Tom Noe is an editor, author and playwright in South Bend, Indiana. He’s semiretired, but he assists with high-school drama productions and that keeps him feeling young. For relaxation, he enjoys reading, gardening and collecting dinosaur bones and agates in the wilds of Wyoming.
Veritas Journal is now accepting original poetry and short fiction for occasional publication. Click here for more information.