The Silence of City Streets

Kurt Vonnegut shuffles through my doorway,

Powdered white as a donut, hair in flurries.

I offer him a seat, a drink – “a smoke,”

He grumbles, tossing off his coat.


Now the press is calling me a doom seer, says Mister V.

His latest sci-fi tour de force foresaw the discovery:

Prolonged mobile phone interaction does,

In fact, lead to loss of long-term memory.


Electric ring-a-dings! and beep-a-deeps!

Have bleeped the little birds’ puh-tee-weet

And soiled the silence of city streets.


Doorbells, with their pensive date night chime,

Will be forgotten, in favor of voice alerts that

Send notices when, “Your party has arrived.”


In coming years, words like “smile” and “tears”

Are to denote yellow faced emoticons

We flash before our sagging faces:

The future medium for self-expression.


Sure, there are those, who, having grown old,

Will struggle to relinquish past remembrance.

But there’s an app for that, or so I’m told.

So it goes. So it goes.


Tom Kelly, USA

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