22 November 2007
My mechanical subordinate at a forward operating base
Stood somber and attent in his chrome-plated way.
Rusty eyes gazed out at a world of stone,
Within him servos whirring, electronically controlled.
If he truly had a heart then he’d be a man.
Tears would fall like Pennzoil from his lubrication pan.
“I know you’re tired of feeling oxidized,”
I told my man as I looked into his ferrous eyes.
“You’ve no blood to pump, but fight on!
Gear up your gears — there’s a war to be won!”
“All right,” he said in his technelectric voice.
He didn’t have free will, but I know he made a choice.
He climbed aboard the gunship as it lifted in the air,
And I saluted my friend — the robot who dared.
He didn’t need a heart to become a man.
Pennzoil spilled like blood from his lubrication pan.
It was a week before I heard his fate.
His parts came back in a wooden crate.
No more servos spinning, just saw dust fresh,
And two rusted eyes gazing out at a world of flesh.
Dieing as a robot made him more of a man
Than we who cleaned the Pennzoil from his lubrication pan.