Capital Planning for Information Technology

No more spilling inkpots or tying red-tape
in thoughtless square knots, just systems crashing,
e-mail gone astray, and filing cabinets
replaced by disorganized disks and drives.
It all recalls the same words we once spoke
when a scribe dropped a cuneiform tablet
or mislaid lines of jackal-headed script:
I’m sure they only meant to do their best.
Ever thus with a melancholy smile
one sifts the debris of overlong careers
and discovers fossils, primarily those
of evolutionary cul-de-sacs,
at best the prey of more successful lines.
Like stenographers who spent careers
transcribing early drafts, we spent our years
building the world, one error at a time.

M. A. Schaffner has work recently published or forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, Magma, Tulane Review, Gargoyle, and The Delinquent. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.