The Way the World Once Was

Location

When I hear music, I head record players and old cassettes.

I hear Meet The Beatles! humming softly in the background.

When I see people out on the town at night, I see flashing neon signs over bars and diners.

I see boys holding doors open for girls in flouncy swing skirts and bowling shoes.

When I smell the air, I inhale the sickening grease from street carts.

I smell the sweet scent of perfume and popcorn butter.

When I run my hand over the shiny Ford Model Ts, I feel slick wax beneath my fingers.

I can imagine the old grumbling motor under the hood.

When I read newspapers, I look at happy events.

I read stories of grand openings and winners of local contests.

When I turn on the TV, I watch the Ed Sullivan show.

I want to be a star appearing next to Mr. Sullivan himself.

 

Today, though,

It's completely different.

 

When I hear music, I hear radio static.

I hear the low drum of the bass of explicit rap music.

When I see people out on the town at night, I see gang violence.

I see groups gathering in back alleys pounding on innocent pedestrians.

When I smell the air, I inhale what others are smoking.

I smell lung cancer and short lives.

When I run my hand over cars parked along the street, I feel dents made from hit-and-runs.

I can imagine where the car has traveled to.

When I read newspapers, all I see is war and protests and economy issues.

I read stories of weapon threats and mass killings.

When I turn on the TV, I watch commercials promoting anorexic bodies.

 

I want to turn back time and live without war

Gangs

Drugs

Media.

I want to live in an era of record music

Chivalry

Cinemas

Drive-ins

Late-night adventures.

Why can't the world listen, smell, and see the good that was once here

Give us hope

That somewhere out there

That world still exists.

Guide that inspired this poem: 

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