The Alien Among Us
An Alien’s living among us.
He’s been here as long as I know.
By now you would think he’d escape us,
But grandfather won’t let him go
For Gramps has him locked in the cellar,
Inside an old coffin he keeps.
Connected to boxes and cables,
The Alien deathlessly sleeps.
But once in a while he’s awakened
By the clicking and humming that it makes.
With a glow and electronic crackle,
The Alien slowly awakes.
An image will dimly develop
When gramps gets the switches just right.
It forces the beast to show pictures;
The past and the future alike.
His eyes can see any location.
His ears can hear every word.
For him, time and space do not matter.
And yet, no one knows they’re observed.
My grandpa records all this spying
On tapes that are big as a book.
Once when his car had been stolen,
He used them to capture the crook.
But mostly he watches recordings
Of battles and fights, more or less;
Or monsters or Martian invasions,
And stuff that just scares me to death.
I’ve looked in the back; it is open.
It looks like a robot’s insides.
It’s hot and has red glowing bottles.
The alien? Somewhere he hides.
My brother has dared me to touch it;
That hideous great glowing eye.
His hair stands on end when he does it,
But that’s just too scary to try.
Despite all the trouble he causes,
They won’t let him go away yet.
I wish that they just would get rid of
That horrible old TV set.
When I was young, television sets were huge wooden cabinets the size of coffins. Early color TV picture tubes were round, and bulged outward like a gigantic eye. If you looked in the back, they were packed full of wires and mysterious objects, with dozens of glass tubes that glowed like red hot coals. To a little kid, it looked like magic.
Extra little boxes and wires were also needed, like a UHF converter and antenna rotator. Then along came the VCR, so people could record their favorite programs to watch again and again. As a child, I wondered how that box can see and hear things everywhere; past, present, and future. And why don’t the people being watched ever notice that the big box is spying on them?
That, dear readers, was the inspiration for this poem!
Lee A. Hart