Monday, October 10, 2022

Tale of a Distress Signal

The antenna on the top
Of the tank kept wondering
About each small decision.

Well now, what should I do next?
It was a fine, sensitive
Antenna, no doubt useful

To the tank, especially
Here, in the smoke of battle.
This antenna, however,

Was unaware of being
Useful to the tank, a tool
Among many for the tank

And its crew. This antenna
Was unaware of all that.
It felt the signals coursing

Through it, and it thought it was
The tank. The poor antenna
Felt responsible for all

The tank’s maneuvers, firing,
And misadventures in mud.
This could be a long story

Of the clueless antenna
Until the tank was blown up,
But it’s even worse than that.

At some point the antenna
Found out. It should have felt freed.
All this cumbersome nightmare

Of a fiery tank battle
Wasn’t its fault. Antennas
Aren’t tanks, or turrets, or tank crews.

It wasn’t responsible!
But it was stuck to the tank
Anyway, and signaling

Played a part in the nightmare,
And the antenna still guessed
Whether the tank should do this

Or that, still felt like the tank
Itself, still felt the burden
Of deciding—only now,

As impacts bent it in half
And it could hear the screaming
Of the burning crew, it knew.

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