This original lines of this poem – the ones in black – were written to celebrate the arrival of 2020. We are well into this new year, and what a shocker it has been thus far! We in Ripley County will be in flux for a while, as the schools will be closing tomorrow through April 3. The unknown can be unsettling. In a feeble attempt to practice social distancing during the coronavirus situation, I decided to meld a few more lines – the ones in italics.
*The twenty-first century is maturing.
That is debatable in light of covid-19.
Time flew through its adolescence.
Time will slow down now it will seem.
Will we manage a world hopefully enduring
The world is seeming a bit bizzare,
With love, peace and effervescence?
Think with caution wherever you are.
*At its birth we used the word ‘millennial’
Our confident millennials are in for a shock.
And we all survived the Y2 Scare.
They might be tempted policies to mock.
But the growing pains seem perennial.
OK, Boomers. Admit it, you’re frazzeled, too.
Humanity and AI make quite a pair.
Our grndparents would know what to do.
*Human connection is digitized,
But when it’s forced, no fair!
Lovers’ gazes aren’t face to face,
Till now. It seems a snare!
It’s via devices now romanticized,
Many together in a home’s few rooms
The world’s becoming a peculiar place.
Could usher in a new baby boom.
*Paper is out, screens are in;
Toilet paper’s had a resurgence,
Reality is increasingly virtual.
It’s scarcity doesn’t make a lick a’ sense.
Privacy’s walls are growing thin.
Even so, don’t dare reach out and touch.
Finding the truth’s a trek unusual.
Even if you want to, oh so much!
*Will its emerging adulthood provide a break
Be wary of what you ask for,
From time and technology speeding?
You might get it, that and much more.
Are there lessons for humanity’s sake
You bet, and we can be stubborn students,
We should slow down and start heeding?
Like being kinder, more generous and prudent?
*We’ll ponder after the countdown and cake –
We’ll have the time in self-quarantine.
This century IS turning twenty –
With hands quite sterile and derrieres so clean.
No doubt we’ll have adjustments to make
If some lessons we learn
And wish for more birthdays a’plenty.
Unless recommendations we spurn.