Mary Kate Nyland

Timeline II (Self Check-Out)

               She remembers. The ringing glow of supermarket
               light glares upon her. Trembling quiet bursts
               and the store cranks to life. Daybreak shoppers
               rush in, calm calamity. Christmas biscuits.
               One item has been removed from the
               bagging area and all at once she is needed. It
               calls for her and she rushes to its side, tapping
               and soothing the machine, explaining away its temper.
               One day it blares errors she’s never
               heard of. Sees menace where she cannot.
               She tries to repair what is already broken.
               The machine is unplugged, unforgiving.
               A software upgrade fixes its illness and she
               is no longer needed. She walks through automatic
               doors. She grows her own vegetables
               and slaughters her own chickens. She forgets.

Mary Kate Nyland is an Irish American writer, currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from University College Dublin. Her prose and poetry work focuses on questions of gender, relationships, and technology.

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