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  Upon the stairway of despair,

  Complete with broken love affairs

  And promises that never came,

  But faded with a touch of shame,

  A pretty girl with golden hair

  And innocence so sadly rare,

  Strove to keep her head above

  A way of life devoid of love.

  Feeling pinned against Life's wall,

  She chanced upon a robot tall

  And said, "Please come and share with me

  Whatever Fate has deemed to be.

  I'm through with love, done with chances

  Spirit crushed by past romances,

  Just be a friend in word and deed.

  That's all that I shall ever need."

  "There's not too much from me to learn,"

  Remarked the robot, in return.

  "Emotions do not form a part

  of my cold, solid-steel heart.

  Whatever maker fashioned me

  Did not permit my circuitry

  Responsiveness to love or pain -

  Your thoughts for me would be in vain."

  "No matter", spoke the maid. "No more

  Do I wish passion to explore.

  Be someone I can come home to

  When my exhausting day is through.

  Count yourself a well-worn shoe -

  A friend that I can slip into . . .

  Protection from a stone cold floor . . .

  For this I ask and nothing more."

  Agreement made, he took her hand

  And lived the life that she had planned,

  Always willing, not demanding,

  Aiding her with understanding

  He made her smile with humorous wit

  (As his restrictions would permit)

  And, bit by bit, she came to feel

  That he was more than iron and steel.

  "I love you, robot", she at last

  Replied when several months had passed.

  "You're strength and quiet dignity

  Have brought a wondrous change in me.

  No more do I feel all alone,

  And pray you must be flesh and bone.

  Deep-set emotions you MUST feel

  Within that outer coat of steel!"

  "If I were able, I would say

  I'm sorry I was made this way

  But my design and programmation

  Does not provide for that creation

  Of feelings normal men may feel

  That were not born of iron and steel.

  I told you all this once before.

  You have no right expecting more."

  "Go, then!" cried she. "I will not live

  Beside a fiend who cannot give!

  Though I be battered by misuse,

  Misguided trust and strong abuse,

  At least the men I chose were real

  And had the power to love and feel.

  Of all the lovers I recall,

  You are the cruelest one of all!"

  The robot, indestructible,

  Continues freely and at will.

  Emotionless, apparently,

  But, bearing closer scrutiny,

  One can see a small tear streak

  Down that cold, metallic cheek

  As I reflect upon my life . . .

  That lovely lady was my wife.

  The robot, of course, was me.


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