I went to the city library
yesterday and engaged in my favorite sport,
browsing. Without saying a word out loud,
I walked the aisles and spoke
with many invisible friends.
After making my choices,
I went downstairs to the check-out
counter only to discover
that technology had made it possible
for me to check out my books
on a machine, without need
of standing in a line or dealing
with the library staff.
In the name of efficiency,
I need never again
look a human in the face,
hear a human voice, or waste my time
in idle chit-chat at a library counter.
The machine takes care of all that
in record time.
I left carrying only my books
and my imaginary conversations
with dead authors.
It’s called progress.