One Stroke

This poem is a cover of one of my favorite villanelles, One Art by Elizabeth Bishop.

One Stroke

Data entry isn’t hard to master;

so many Ave.’s and St.’s are meant

to be abbreviated; their loss is no disaster.

 

Capitalize proper names. Accept the fluster

of user error, lazy keystrokes, ten seconds poorly spent.

Data entry isn’t hard to master.

 

Then practice entering more, entering faster:

email addresses, dates of birth, past employment.

None of these will bring disaster.

 

Enter race, political party and gender, and the last, or

next-to-last of kin, memberships, and campaign affiliations

Data entry isn’t hard to master.

 

Blink twice and Mister becomes Master

A phone number lost forever, $1,000,000 reduced to $10.

Mistakes, but not quite a disaster.

 

The ticking tock, the daily grind, my master

My inbox always full and fuller, it’s evident

Data entry isn’t hard to master,

though it may look like my database, a disaster.

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