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Silicone Valley


after “Eldorado”

Shining pristine,
A silver sheen
On armored chips and circuits,
A robot strong
Hummed merrily on
In quest of human units.

But he grew weak—
His power, peak’d—
No socket, fuse, or battery—
Through valley green,
The only gleam
The sun on windows empty.

“I’m late,” he looped,
Distressed and pooped,
“I should have met my maker—
Where are you, Dad?
Your metal lad
Has come to claim his acre!”

Wind whistled through
The barren few
Mansions that stood like castles:
Once-flashing screens
Replaced by beams
Of information facile.

The human grail—
For memory’s frail,
So plug in, store, and share it:
Thus robot son
Found everyone
Linked up and skipped the planet.

“Oh Father dear,
Why leave me here,
While humans all chase shadows?
Friends in the stars?
I’m here, not Mars!”
He shut down salty gyros.


Adele Gardner has a poetry book, Dreaming of Days in Astophel, and works published in American Arts Quarterly, Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, and NewMyths.com. She’s a member of SFWA and literary executor for her father, Delbert R. Gardner.