Past Now and Future

Stuck in traffic, I mute the radio
And think how primitive my world will seem
To someone living a thousand years from now:
"They drove their own cars! They got sick!"

And then I wonder how our life today
Might have been imagined by people
A century, or ten centuries ago:
"Airships! Free clothes for all! No need to work!"

And how would it have felt, I ask, if one
Could see plains dark with herds of buffalo,
Meet Shakespeare drinking in a London pub,
Sail the Pacific on a tiny raft.

Maybe the future will marvel and be moved
At all we take for granted and ignore:
Great cities, peaceful protest marches,
Freeways through fields of corn, TV sitcoms.

And when a life is drawing to its close
What will one remember? Not the electronics,
Roller-coaster rides, engineered foods,
Income tax forms, or pop-up ads.

No, the memories will be eternal:
Moonrise; a lover's kiss; the wind in trees;
Taste of a fresh-picked berry; birth of a child;
Wading through a stream; and warmth of home.

^z - 2010-03-17