“I was lucky to live in New York when it was dangerous and edgy and cheap enough to play host to young, penniless artists. That was the era of “coffee shops” as they were defined in New York—cheap restaurants open round the clock where you could eat for less than it would cost to cook at home. That was the era of ripped jeans and dirty T-shirts, when the kind of people who are impressed by material signs of success were not the people you wanted to know.”
it’s not the sixties anymore. It is a decade of upheaval
and people inflamed and lands laid bare.
Sea levels are rising and the
99% walk desiccated paths.
Once, you jockeyed in suits and ties
while I sat pregnant with poems,
the most unhappening girl in New York,
that most happening town.
We never did walk The Village streets for sips
of espresso in eccentric cafés, places
where Gibran Khalil Gibran might have lounged.
So okay, that was my dream. Yours was
Wall Street and manicured lawns in Westbury.
there are strangers living in the old home place.
Our favorite stores are shuttered.
Our hip fashions are vintage.
Our parents have gone the way of all souls.
They never did hear
their truth over the cacophony of rote prayer.
You were happy to embrace high finance in place of Mystery.
the future grows short
… word is …
you’ve taken Pascal’s Wager.
we sang “make love not war,”
the power mongering persists, just a habit I imagine,
as another generation marches into conflicts
ignorant and vain, immoral and vulgar.
Tell me, did we get what we deserve?
I guess everything’s changed and nothing has.
No matter after all, fifty years of goodbyes.
The last goodbye now pending.
© 2019, Jamie Dedes
WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT
Write a poem that gives us a strong sense of time and place and how you and/or the times have changed.
Share your poem/s on theme in the comments section below or leave a link to it/them. All poems on theme are published on the first Tuesday following the current Wednesday Writing Prompt. (Please no oddly laid-out poems.)
No poems submitted through email or Facebook will be published.
IF this is your first time joining us for The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-). These are partnered with your poem/s on first publication.
PLEASE send the bio ONLY if you are with us on this for the first time AND only if you have posted a poem (or a link to one of yours) on theme in the comments section below.
Deadline: Monday, April 30 by 8 pm Pacific Standard Time.
Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro. It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you. This is a discerning non-judgemental place to connect.
You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.