I Should Live So Long

Coffee, a bagel with smoked salmon, the New
York Times, you strode into the day, but that
was then, before the Great Divide, before fools
and knaves ran our institutions, before Wall Street
Greed became the foundation of our faith and you
could find the largesse of a “live and let live” attitude
in every ethnicity and neighborhood in New York.
That largesse has been crushed by narrow-minded
and mean-spirited bigots, Babbitts and bureaucrats,
happy to stare at screens at work and play, eager to
inherit a planet while putting their and their subjects’
minds to Twitter and Tik Tok, not to the survival of living
things and flowing rivers, leaving such boring matters
to Artificial Intelligence, our savior du jour.
As my mother’s fellow shoppers used to say in the “dark”
1950s: “I should live so long.”

George Salamon lives in St. Louis, MO, where he did not grow up. Read other articles by George.