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YOUR OPINION: That was then, this is now

May 26, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Sue Bower,

Jefferson City

Dear Editor,

That was then, this is now.

Then we woke up in the middle of the night

to watch shooting stars, what a beautiful sight

Then we watched clouds, finding monsters and such

Now our news is consumed with real monsters, too much

Our front doors were open and keys were in cars,

There was no karaoke in neighborhood bars

Back then "school trouble" meant trouble with dad,

today no laws apply when mobs rule, ain't you glad?

Skirts at your knees were respectfully worn,

now shirts look like bras and jeans are all torn

Wash was hung out on the line to get dry,

and mouths got washed out with soap if we'd lie,

Hand-cranked homemade ice cream was the best in the world,

and we stood and saluted when our flag was unfurled.

Churches on Sunday meant families would meet

and spend time together as one, what a treat

Today Zoom and Facetime define family time,

leaving sporatic short memories, if that, to remind

We were friends, kin and neighbors,

we knew who to trust and the names of the people next door,

Now we are strangers, giving brief nods, unaware, skeptical, armored and more

Where community meant first names and true helping hands,

today it's a landscape of generational bands,

where selfishness feeds the political flames that have burned and are burning our American lands

Good for all is oer-shadowed by one's selfish needs,

like a tuba's loud oompahs drown out a band's reeds.

What do we want our future to be: a strong heart-felt hand up or a hand, out for free?

We had prayer in school; we saluted our flag;

now we are our own gods -- don't mean to brag

our pennies meant something; we even had mills;

we saved for the things that we'd need,

now we struggle to find food and gas for the car,

thank goodness that's not true for weed

our spankless indulgence of children's displays have allowed them to think that all is okay

but I wonder how soon our lenders will say, you have far overspent, and now you must pay

We were warned that our future was in our own hands,

now we're watching our greed destroy our own lands,

and the diet we face in repairing our fate

may just be too stringent and far, far too late.

Print Headline: That was then, this is now


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