Martha X







Marge Simon


Martha X

He thinks I came in pieces,
had to be assembled,
like del Rey’s Helen O’Loy,
a modified household robot.
Lost to antiquity, he never knew
that story is in my memory banks.

He forgets that I arrived whole
at his door, solar batteries included
and fully functioning in all respects,
with human hair in proper places.

He forgets he named me Martha,
the name of his unworthy wife.
She was from Brighton,
a touristy place of slender women,
cocktails served with teacakes,
fashion-wise and carefree.

He forgets how she died, and why.
So he sits now, staring at her holograph,
he won’t even let me touch him.
Twenty years and more, I’ve served him,
in both body and mind, his inspiration–
my model is one of a kind.

As the saying goes, they threw away the mold
when I was made—I am the last.
I kneel by his bed, wishing I could weep.


Marge Simon lives in Ocala, Florida and is married to Bruce Boston. She won the Strange Horizons Readers Choice Award, 2010 the Bram Stoker Award ® for Poetry, the Rhysling Award and the SFPA Grand Master Award, 2015. She has work in Chiral Mad 3, You Human, and more.


Editor’s Note: The last poem segues into this one with the retty cyborg woman mentioned in the article, “Trends on Tuesday: Robot Messaging Goes Mainstream” by Will Sullivan (February 16, 2016) It too is a love poem.


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