The Serpent’s Tongue

“They should put in a minimum of work,”

We tell ourselves, satisfied in our moral superiority.


Welfare recipients, struggling students,

People whose computers overwhelm them

With options and AI copilots they never asked for in the first place

(Do I really need a copilot for something

that never flies higher than four feet off the ground?)


It is somehow better, we think

If people who need things work for them

Instead of simply experiencing the knowledge

That their roof will be there tomorrow

Dinner will be served at the usual time

They will not be tested until they understand the material

And the computer will do only what they tell it.


“Back in my day we had to work for what we wanted!”

We say, as though the world has not changed

And the computers couldn’t do that work for us

If they weren’t busy putting on their flight uniforms

Strapping themselves in to the cockpit seats

And familiarizing themselves with every one of the

Three thousand and seven bells and whistles

Required to print a letter to Dear Aunt Sally.


Do not pass go.

Do not collect $200.

Do not reenter the Garden.