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Sunday, July 3, 2022

The machine is here

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In our attempts to be known
babies born with umbilical cords
attached to phones
where is please and thank you
and how do you do
where is respect
where is service, where is time
people so graceless and unkind
did you hear someday
they’re going to make robots cry

The machine is here
they trust them more than me
I don’t have their speed
or their accuracy
does anybody care what we feel
it all seems so unreal

I hear community is a dirty word
so they changed the name and the signs
but the service is still the same
the face of the company changing
from day to day
the ones that should have stayed
their hearts were in the right place
always leave
it seems like the devil won
and the angels flew away

The machine is here
they trust them more than me
I don’t have their speed
and they don’t give me time
does anybody care what we feel
it all seems so unreal

I saw a woman ask for help
and she was turned away
by a mechanical smile
she said she wanted
to speak to the manager
she was told to go online
she turned to people like her
they said they were all fine
no wonder people fall so fast
and to come up can be too long a climb

The machine is here
they trust them more than me
I don’t have their speed
but I’ll give you my time
does anybody care what we feel
it all seems so unreal

It’s as if they’ve shuffled
the cards of our destiny
and taken away humanity
we give people seeking asylum
a refuge yet neglect to give them aid
we don’t follow through on promises
we are loosing sight
of our own shore
if you’re not a political animal
don’t go knocking on that door

The machine is here
they trust them more than me
I don’t have their speed
let me breathe let me live
does anybody care what we feel
it all seems so unreal

What happened to your neighbour
the paramedics took him away
he’s been relying on community
to get him through
some people don’t have anyone
when they’re blue
he’s not the only one in tears
we close doors just to make sure
we tighten up the screws
locking up our fears

The machine is here
they trust them more than me
I don’t have their speed
or their accuracy
does anybody care what we feel
it all seems so unreal

Now come to think of it
I should’ve been prepared
long ago when I was a child
I saw my father with his tools
a toolmaker building a container
to come to Australia
I was told to not be so sensitive
or stand too tall
even if I wasn’t the last one to leave
to always shut the door

Raija St Kilda 1/11/2017

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