Turning Twenty

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.

About Teresa Pearson Lee

Retired after 33 years of teaching English and French (one year in private school in Memphis, TN and the rest in public school in Doniphan, MO. Enjoying new adventures - all those things I put off for lack of time, energy, now I can try them! Pottery, writing, traveling, camping, kayaking, dancing, listening to some of the best live music ever, and making lively new friendships. All christened with an appreciation for great red wine! Created and operated KC's on the Current, then sold it and managed it for new owners. You might still find me at the reservation desk when spring rolls around. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO near The Hill. Though a transplant to Southeast Missouri, still a city gal at the core with a deep love of the natural resources in these Ozark foothills. Currently I am a content coordinator for Poplar Bluff Living Magazine and a columnist/stringer for the local weekly The Prospect News. My rescue Siamese helps with most of the proofreading; he has a great ear. I relish the solitude easily had in the Mark Twain Forest but thoroughly enjoy lively outings for music, wine, conversation close to home or in my beloved hometown. Technology is my greatest challenge but so worth the shared connections. There may be a need for solitude but there is little loneliness. The material in this blog written by Teresa Lee is her property and cannot be used without express written consent to do so.
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