When my computer’s platform
for attending virtual meetings crashed,
and my IT specialist recommended I give control,
I eagerly abdicated.
Cursor moved as though on autopilot,
clicked here and there,
scanned code that made no sense to me.
How easy it would be to relinquish control
to someone who knew better
how to navigate the mysterious code of life—
but before I could explore the fantasy,
IT had returned control to me
just in time for my next virtual meeting.
Social Media Boycott
to wait the year’s lingering days,
long, cold winters,
occasional whiffs of spring flowers
and leaps into crispy piles of autumn leaves,
the whole year waiting for that brilliant moment:
the accumulation of “happy birthday” greetings
on your electronic wall for all to see.
Passionate copy-and-paste words of heartfelt feeling—
“happy birthday” and “have a good one”—
emojis that live up to their names,
heartfelt gifs and images evoking a laugh or cry.
The joining of humanity singing birthday wishes
like so many cards that did not require postage
or the purchase of a card or even
the uncovering of a freebie charity card
kicking around in a junk drawer.
Oh, you can relate to the reason behind the boycott:
the overreach of the venue,
injustice of the situation,
wrongs in need of righting.
You stand with the boycotters in solidarity!
We will not take this, we will disappear
from this electronic venue to inflict
the sting of our strike!
We will be missed!
Alas, we are missed.
Such a pity.
Did it have to happen on my birthday,
you wonder as you find solace
in your social media “memories”
from this day
Eric D. Goodman lives and writes in Maryland, where he’s remained sheltered in place for most of the pandemic, spending a portion of his hermithood writing poetry. He’s author of Wrecks and Ruins (Loyola University’s Apprentice House Press, 2022) The Color of Jadeite (Apprentice House, 2020), Setting the Family Free (Apprentice House, 2019), Womb: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing, 2017) Tracks: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books, 2011), and Flightless Goose, (Writers Lair Books, 2008). More than a hundred short stories, articles, and travel stories have been published in literary journals, magazines, and periodicals. His poetry has been published in Gargoyle, Loch Raven Review, North of Oxford, The Five-Ten, and Bourgeon. Learn more about Eric and his writing at www.EricDGoodman.com.
Image: Simonilja, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons