Our desktop, age 12, expired quietly
Last night, after a long illness,
Surrounded by loved ones.
In its declining years
It was still able, slowly and with
Great difficulty, to find
The best price on gas,
The route to Nova Scotia.
But twelve is pretty old, even in doggy years,
So when we saw the dire language
On the blue screen,
We despaired of heroic cures
And entrusted it to the Cyberhospice
Who thought they could save
My e-mail list, some files;
Other things gone,
Like certain memories, irretrievable.
I used the library’s computer today—
New operating system—
And saw a list of files
Not meant for my eyes:
Draft for Mum’s obituary.
If our new computer should last twelve years…
Better not to speculate.
I do hope they’ll return the
Old hard drive.
I plan to keep it
In an urn
On the mantle.
Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladders, published in 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems have received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club. He is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Bob’s poems have appeared in over 150 periodicals including Cold Mountain Review and Louisville Review.