After ‘Artificial Intelligence for Dummies’, ‘Klara and the Sun’, and a ‘Parent’s Guide to High-
Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder’.
An Ishiguro sort of morning
dressed in a blue checked shirt my name could be Klara.. maybe even Emily.
Nothing much goes on these days
but I like the haze of the house. the blare of the news in the background. the grip of sleep at midday
and when mum talks about work I’m really proud.
I’ve discovered that if I time it right
I get to see the big machine that cleans the Cul-de-sac
I don’t know what they’re called
but that’s not important.because I like the way it dances. in a clean-cut U.
I’ve called it Tony .because that seems like a good name . for a good thing
and last night . Mum told me that Tony
is being taught how to talk .to be a big brave boy.
But the best part of my Tony is. brushes at the front
round bristle spin scrub nook and cranny touch every piece of moss and every little bit of gravel with
gentle swaying baleen that i think would tickle.
And not Klara or even Emily! .but the child
with small head . all seedy oil one . spot flatter and greasier than the rest
terrified of the shower even though her name is Flora.
If they can teach a machine to talk .maybe they could have taught me
bit of magic in those stars after all .bit more than numbers
And if Tony is alive
they are humming softly
glowing. lovely profession
having no thoughts whatsoever
and no notion of a name.
Gráinne Condron is a poet and writer based in Dublin. Her work has been published under the Belonging Project, HEBE Poetry, and the Brendan Kennelly Cup. She attended the Cúirt International Festival of Literature 2023 as a Young Writer Delegate. Her work traverses topics from climate anxiety to childhood and queer joy.
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