by Shirley Hakim
I am a robot like the rest of them.
I sit in a chair at the carwash
Waiting for my car.
I look dazed like everyone else,
Don’t have a book to read
Or a notebook to write in.
The right thing is to look straight ahead.
Like everyone else,
My gaze is fixed like the dead
Nobody dares to turn.
I dare. And I turn.
An older woman sits on my right.
She wears yellow, flat shoes
And a yellow shirt.
Her white hair is nicely done.
Her blue eyes are locked forward.
A tall, handsome man sits in front of me.
He wears a stripped blue suit.
He stares straight at his car.
He looks very important.
A girl in her twenties
Pretends that she’s busy with her phone.
No one notices me.
I should have worn a funny hat,
Or a brighter shirt.
I did not notice
What shirt my daughter wore today.
I don’t know
If the trees in front of my house
I don’t know
Who lives in the second house
Down the road.
* * * * *
"Robot" was first published in Poetry Super Highway (June 2020).
Shirley Hakim came from Teheran to Los Angeles in 1979, at age fifteen. She’s a CPA by trade, with a degree in Economics from UCLA. A student of poet/teacher Jack Grapes, Shirley’s poetry in English has been published in ON THE BUS, and in several publications in her native Farsi. Shirley is the mother of three adult children. She and her husband live in Los Angeles.