Barbara Loots



Shakespeare’s time forever creeps
in petty pace, but our time beeps.
Beep. The stopwatch starts your run.
Beep. The coffee pot is done.
Beep. Beep. Beep. The timer’s set.
Beep. The phone says don’t forget.
Think of all the time we save
with beeps punched in the microwave.
Beeps that smoke alarms produce
demand a fresh supply of juice,
while one long beep, a distant cry,
declares your underwear is dry.
Beeps inform the copier
how many times to blink and blur,
(and bleeping beeps mean Err…Err…Err…)
One beep sends annoyance through us:
Hold please. You’re important to us.
Beeps with clumsy thumbs can make
a call to Iceland by mistake.
Miss a beep for someone’s text?
Someone’s likely to be vexed.
Beep. Your credit card is good.
Beep. Life’s working as it should.
But let my fear be understood:
someday rescue me from science.
Please unplug me from reliance
on some medical appliance—
wired and tubed, deprived of sleep,
listening for that final…..

Barbara Loots‘s most recent collection is Windshift (Kelsay Books, 2018) in which she decided to roll out the funny alongside the serious, with quite a lot of crossover. (Reviewed here.)