BULLETPROOF

Although I look normal, with eyeballs and skin 
big bushy eyebrows, a lumpy old chin, 
stubby, short fingers, a ludicrous grin, 
hair which is boisterous, curly and thin,
	I’m actually a robot.

Yes, I agree, it’s unusual to see
someone looking so normal and sipping iced tea
when they’re actually metal and battery powered,
someone whose circuit board’s never been showered.
	It’s hard being a robot.

I look like a human but sound like a car
which is rusty and old and has driven too far.
My ironwork’s cumbersome, clunky and slow,
and everyone hears me wherever I go –
	it’s loud being a robot.

I want to be subtle, I want to fit in,
but that cannot happen when, under my skin,
there are motors and pistons and grippers and gears
all put together by six engineers.
	It’s lonely being a robot.

Despite being built with a bulletproof shell
(although I must say that I hide it quite well),
inside I am squishy like jelly ice cream
and when it is nighttime, I nod off and dream
	of not being a robot.
Illustration by Chris Riddell