An old woman sits down on a bench in a park, weary from years of pain. Laughter fills her ears, spring flowers and the smell of grass pervades her old nose, hope a taste on her tongue. Across from her are children, so full of life and so hopeful of what is to come; learning of life and living and playing and fun. Then teenagers who cuss every other word, who stare down at their phones that take precedence over reality, block her view. The teens that listen but do not hear. How oddly they wear their pants and hats, she thinks to herself. Among the group, she sees girls wearing jeans that suffocate their legs in order to get a sense of belonging, of being wanted. As they walk past, one of them spits at her feet and the others laugh at the act. Then her view is unblocked and her weary eyes rest upon parents who will never understand their children. Parents who will ruin America’s future. Parents whose trophy children just spit at her feet. A child kicks his ball too far and it comes to rest in front of her, gently bumping into her foot. The child comes to get it. As he goes to pick it up, his eyes are taken prisoner by her wrinkles, her weariness, her pain of seeing this generation's lost innocence. He runs off, "sorry" not even said in the mind. Nobody will understand her. Her husband gone to cancer and her son killed in war. This generation will never understand mine, she thinks. So she slowly rises and walks away.
December 10, 2010