The experts predict, in a few years
mobile, human-sized robots
with cognitive abilities of lizards
will be available to perform simple chores —
dust, vacuum, take out trash,
even deliver packages.

Fifty years ago my mother, handing me
a dust rag, declared that when
I grow up and marry, I won’t have to clean.
She was an avid reader and had just read
of the coming of robots. Not only
will they dust, vacuum, take out trash,
deliver packages, but also mow the lawn.

The lizard-brained constructs will help
the enfeebled elderly stay in their homes.
In many ways they’ll be more suitable
as companions than dogs. No need to feed them,
take for walks, brush out hairballs and fleas.
Just an occasional change of battery, that’s all.

As I swish Ajax in the toilet bowl
I wonder if I could throw out
the stack of papers on Long Term Care.
I so much want not to read them.

Helen Tzagoloff is published in Barrow Street, Poetry East, The Evansville Review, Slant Poetry Journal and Poet Lore among others. She was nominated twice for the Pushcart prize and was the winner of the Icarus Literary Contest. A second book of poems: “Fears and Pleasures” has been published recently by Word Poetry.