July 14, 2017
Photo by Paul Murphy

Life Goes On
A New Poem by Hilde Oleson

In 1999 we sat huddled in living-rooms,
Or stood in town and city centers
Stamping our feet for warmth and nervous relief.
We were all anxious for the ball to drop —
The magic ball that signifies the change of year.
We had been told a dire prediction.
Everything would change, along with the calendar.
Computers would not work, clocks would not strike,
Life would become more puzzling.
But down it came.
One tiny circular globe in a world of round objects.
Eggs starting life everywhere, drops of rain,
Tears from myriad eyes of sorrow.
There was no sudden change. No quick rampage
Of lightning bolts, no stopping of the clocks.
We sighed and finally went to bed.
On January 1 of the year two thousand
We all felt such relief and went back to our ordinary lives.
Our lives went on in regular paces.
And now in 2017 again we hold our breathe.
Again there are foreboding voices.
We fear the changes that will come.
There are rumors of dire futures, things to fear.
But think again of these past years,
Some of the changes frightened us,
But life progressed. Some miracles have happened,
There are great strides in life expectancy,
In medical advantages, in transportation.
Gay marriage, women holding powerful government roles.
So many changes, so many confusions,
Even disagreements.
But life goes on.