Like many of my poems, this one began at the end, with the final stanza.
I woke up too early, thinking that when writers write, it is not really for their own age, or even for those who are their own age. They are always looking down the road, trying to prognosticate. Or looking backward, trying to synthesize. And what they say will often be too close to the bone, too harsh, for readers their own age to bear.
I then started thinking about other ways in which we pass things on, through the generations.
We fight for the last generation.
We stumble, securing their shores.
We die in the thousands for notions,
With which we can’t disagree more.
We work for the last generation,
Old hippies and pensioners, all.
We feather their nests with our millions.
Nests empty, we dread our own fall.
We mother the next generation.
We coddle and cuddle, cacoon.
We father our kids to be like us,
So prideful, expecting the moon.
We lecture the next generation,
Distracted, too busy to heed.
We pass on our wisdom, like sages,
Outpouring our out-of-touch screed.
We write for the next generation–
Or even the one after that–
For a world we cannot yet imagine,
Of a world that’s already long past.
Copyright 2023 Andrea LeDew